Peaceful protestors at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after the executive order – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia

Capping off a tumultuous first week in office, President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Friday that — without warning — closed America’s gates to immigrants, refugees, and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries. The order invited swift reactions across the U.S. and around the world. It also threw the aviation world into disarray. Individuals were held at airports without access to legal counsel, and airlines struggled to understand the executive order’s harsh ramifications. Airline crews even had to be adjusted in some cases.

AirlineReporter usually doesn’t venture too far into the world of politics, but given that this executive order has huge implications for air travelers around the world, we wanted to share some thoughts. Read on for an overview of the new policy, its impact on travelers over the weekend and beyond, and what we think it means for the spirit of air travel. (Spoiler alert: it’s not looking good)

What does the executive order do?

  • It bars the entry of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen for ninety days. This applies to immigrants, students, tourists, flight crews, and other visa applicants. It even blocks the Iraqis and Afghans who risked their lives to help U.S. troops. People originally from the seven listed countries are barred even if they are currently citizens of another country. Olympian British runner Mo Farah, who has a home in the U.S., was among those affected initially.
  • It suspends refugee processing and admissions for 120 days, and suspends Syrian refugee processing and admissions indefinitely. Once the 120 days is over, the number of refugees admitted in the fiscal year 2017 will be cut by more than half.

There have already been some alterations made since the order was passed, and the policy could see further tweaks in the weeks ahead. Federal courts have already blocked a small portion of the order, allowing individuals being held at airports to leave. However, the judge’s ruling only applied to people who were at airports or in the air when the order was issued, leaving the majority of the order in place.

The impact on air travel

In a word: chaos — at least at certain U.S. international gateway airports like New York (JFK) and San Francisco (SFO). Individuals from the affected countries were being detained at airports and barred from speaking with lawyers, while others were barred from boarding flights to the US. Airport immigration officials struggled to comprehend the order and put it into action on such short notice. Airlines faced the same struggle. Most did their best to alert passengers already in transit who may be affected. Delta stated in a praiseworthy press release that it would rebook or refund affected travelers. Other airlines put travel advisories on their websites. Airlines can’t be thrilled that such a disruptive executive order was dropped on them with no warning. A representative for KLM, which had a number of passengers affected, noted that, “We would love to bring them there [to the U.S.]. That’s not the problem. It’s just that this is what the U.S. sprang on the rest of the world — that these people are no longer welcome.”

Large impromptu protests came together at many U.S. airports, including Chicago O’Hare, Washington Dulles, SEA, SFO, and LAX. At JFK, the massive crowd overflowed the Terminal 4 arrivals area and packed a nearby parking garage, even forcing the Port Authority to restrict usage of the AirTrain.

The executive order has serious downstream affects on U.S. citizens as well, as international reprisals have already begun. Iran and Iraq issued or are considering a reciprocal ban on U.S. travelers and journalists, for example, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see other countries follow suit.

The broader implications

While some of the Americans who voted for President Trump may be happy with his executive order, it’s safe to say that his immigration and refugee ban pissed a TON of people off — and for good reason. The policy came under fire for being an abandonment of American values, a thinly veiled “Muslim ban,” hastily executed, and a new recruiting tool for terrorists, among a number of other critiques.

What about its goal of preventing terrorism in the U.S.? Ever since the tragedy of 9/11, terrorism has cast a shadow over air travel. However, it’s been pointed out that Trump’s executive order would have blocked exactly zero of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers based on their country of origin; Saudi Arabia, home to the bulk of them, was not included in this ban for unknown reasons.

In the short term, the executive order is nothing but bad news for air travelers. The international community is angry, the airline industry is scrambling, and long-awaited family reunions are being postponed. Individuals who live in the U.S. and may have taken a quick trip for business or to visit family — like many of us do every year — are worried that they won’t be able to come home. The likelihood of reciprocal actions from indignant foreign governments may mean that the global skies will be a little less free for Americans as well.

The symbolic significance of Trump’s order is no less important: it is a setback for air travel and all that it does to bring the world closer together.

We at AirlineReporter have enjoyed the privilege of covering stories from places around the world, like:

… just to name a very few.

The point is that no matter where we get to go for stories, we get nothing but smiles and warm welcomes. We get to see different countries and cultures put their best foot forward through their airlines, airports, and airshows. We are never made to feel that we are unwelcome guests. And every time we step through the front doors of an airport, we get to enjoy a sense of endless possibility — of endless places to go, and endless people to meet. It’s a feeling that you probably know too.

By sending the message that large swaths of the world are not welcome in the U.S., Trump’s executive order tarnishes the spirit of air travel that we all love as #AvGeeks, regardless of where we live or where we come from.


Whether you support the executive order, oppose it, or have been directly affected by it, AirlineReporter would love to hear your take on this issue. Share your thoughts in the comments section below. We only ask that the conversation remains civil and respectful. 

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SENIOR CORRESPONDENT - SAN FRANCISCO, CA. Manu got his private pilot license in high school, setting the tone for his interest in all things aviation. He earned his frequent flyer credentials working as a journalist, and is now a medical student in San Francisco. He enjoys writing about air travel from a millennial's perspective.

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67 Comments
Carlton moser

I’ve loved your articles for years. Now you’ve put politics in it, I must leave.

Sorry, the election spoke for us, the non-protesting working class who love this country.

Wishing you success in future endeavors.

Joe Smith

Can someone delete this rude response.

Keep in mind this is a 90 day order. Let’s not go crazy and overreact like the Left and the media (sorry for the redundancy) have done.

It is gone. People can get angry, I understanding that. But I have my limits and he passed them.

David | AirlineReporter

I am certainly not left but what one would call a Reagan Democrat. In the 29 November’s that I have been able to vote, I have cast ballots for just as many Republican and Democrat candidates. Of course this is the Internet so why should you believe me, but it’s true. This article points out what is reality. If we want to talk 9/11, didn’t most the terrorists come from Saudi Arabia? In theory I realize that Visa’s can be pulled by executive power. But where I draw a line is denying Permanent Residents who went through the system, had their scrutiny and trial period, entry into the US. Imagine this…your doctor who you are counting on to see you this week had to fly home to somewhere he or she hasn’t been in 30 years for a funeral. But while they are there, the carpet is pulled out from under them. That is not right. It undermines the credibility in our legal citizenship process. It harms people who are part of our community and perhaps someone you know but didn’t even realize it. Yes, I believe we need to ratchet up scrutiny of Visa applications from various countries to ensure proper vetting. I also believe that we moved too far one direction with blocking the government access to certain things. I personally do not care if they can see my texts, emails, phone calls, etc. If that’s what it has taken to keep us safer after 9/11 then so be it. If you aren’t communicating to a target person I assure you they don’t give a darn about the pictures of your kids, or how much you love you mistress, etc….(literally I could go on and on). The knee jerk irrational comments on here are truly sad. There is a way to politely disagree and be adults. I mean really if you are so offended, then why haven’t you left here or blown a gasket when Emirates or Qatar Airways was a focus article in the past? We all have a right to an opinion. We should practice understanding and polite disagreement. Just my two cents.

Jonathan in France

Good, balanced piece, impossible to avoid covering this. If anyone is offended perhaps it’s better they retreat to a safe space not subject to intrusion by reality.

This article is BS. How did all terrorsists arrive in the US? They used commercial aviation, Including those terrorists who used commercial aviation to murder 3000 people in New York. Had this travel ban been in effect for many years, thousands of American lives would have been saved,

I used to read airlinereporter, but after this commiesocialist POS I’ve had it.

Blaine Nickeson

As the author noted in the piece, all 19 9/11 attackers would NOT be affected by this ban; they came from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Lebanon.

Lew Tripp

It just might keep some ISIS “refugees” out. It might get legit entry people vetted so as to keep out terrorists.

Joe Smith

Yes….should include especially Saudis.

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Jonathan

Oh dear!

Follow me on Twitter @lefoudubaron

An angry, unintelligent, uninformed, and uneducated response from clearly the lowest America has to offer. Quintessential Trump supporter.

Glad to see you won’t be ’round these parts no more. Go back to snuggling up to your comfort guns and pretending the sea levels won’t rise. We don’t need stupidity like yours.

Joe Smith

You are out of bounds in insulting someone. Keep it polite and civil. The media has completely misrepresented Trump’s immigration action. Don’t believe everything you read or hear. Keep with the facts. 

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Brian Burk

Bravo, AirlineReporter. Trump’s immoral and flat-out un-American action is too outrageous to ignore, even by an apolitical publication such as yours. I applaud your speaking out.

Lew Tripp

You are a leftist asshole. In case you didn’t know it, isis is getting as many as they can as “refugees”so they can kill and destroy Americans and America.

Brian Burk

And you are a very rude man, Lew.

lewtripp

I sure as hell am. When it comes to the safety and security of my USA, I sure as hell am.

Brian Burk

It’s our USA, Lew. And if you think this ban will increase either safety or security, you delude yourself.

Daniel T Jones

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” -Benjamin Franklin

You sir, are an embarrasment. Congratulations on being on the wrong side of history. Please keep up the “leftist asshole” comments so we know who to ignore.

Joe Smith

Let’s stop this “wrong side of history” nonsense. It’s just plain dumb. It’s meaningless too.

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Daniel T Jones

Seconded Brian, well said.

People showing their true colors here, and most so far have been ugly. Looking at you Lew.

Joe Smith

It’s not “immoral”. We have borders and should control immigration. We can debate what measures are reasonable. I think the list should have included Saudi Arabia…but the Trump list is exactly the same as what Obama used. Truth is important. 

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Joe Smith

It’s not “immoral” to want to protect the citizens of the USA. That is a primary responsibility of the president.

The Leftists want no borders. Those folks who are not citizens of the US have no expectations of a right to come to US to visit or live. We have the right to control who enters the country.

It’s as simple as that….and this is not based on race, creed, etc.

Donald Trump only implement the exixting law. The same obama, carter and Bush did. But it is a pity that you brought politics into airline Reporter.
I therefor unsubscribe from Airline Reporter.

Daniel T Jones

Good riddance.

Trump didn’t implement anything; he signed it into law of his own volition. Those unfortunate enough to be under his command are the ones forced to implement it.

Joe Smith

What?  That makes no sense. 

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Thank you for speaking up and pointing out the reality of this irrational order. I’m an American, and love travel and other cultures. I’m horrified and ashamed by Trump’s actions. He does not speak for most of us. Sure, nobody wants to be the victim of a terror attack, but these policies are not the solution.

Joe Smith

In fact the majority of Americans support this action. 

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Colin Easton

Why is the terminology used “travel ban”, it’s NOT! Let’s use “TEMPORARY suspension” it’s far more accurate and also far less inflamatory!

Let’s stop politics on this site…… there are plenty of other places to go for politics!

Thank you for this article, I’m happy that you’re taking a stand in some way and using your influence to write a well thought out article. Proud to have been reading this website for years.

Seems nobody on here has actually read the executive order nor, apart from Henri, looked into the source of the immigration restriction (most recently Pres Obama) or the list of countries involved (again, Pres Obama). I’d also have thought that the security of US borders was more important than something called ‘the spirit of air travel’, whatever that is. Sorry – I’m out too.

Clearly, Scotty, you haven’t done your reading either. Obama’s directive was a review of the Visa Waiver Program as applied to one country, Iraq, due to specific intel collected from two arrested Iraqi immigrants. There was no ban during that time, just a suspension of issuance of accelerated visas, and refugees still made it to the States.

Personally, I applaud AirlineReporter for taking a principled stand on this issue.

Plane-Crazy Joe

Manu, I see that you live in the Bay Area; so this explains your LACK of UNDERSTANDING of the terrorism/security issue! It seems likely that you view the SHAME-stream media as your “news” source!

As another blogger already wrote – KEEP POLITICS OFF of this site!

As a 22 year veteran of Active Duty service in the USAF, I fully and wholeheartedly SUPPORT this Executive Order!

Btw, how did the Saudis who committed the atrocities of 9/11 reach America?

Lew Tripp

You got it Joe. They flew and crossed either thru Canada or Mexico and entered illegally. I’m retired Army and civilian cop.

Did your time in the military TEACH you to RANDOMLY capitalize WORDS to further YOUR POINT?

Joe Smith

He’s right though. The Saudi 9-11 murderers were able to easily move in and out of the country because of lax immigration laws. We should also include especially Saudis on the “ban” list. 

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Ray Johnston

LT DT, You are being extremely disingenuous. Obama did indeed ban Iraqi refugees for six months. The ones who “got through,” as you say, were previously vetted. No new refugee visas were issued for six months. This included people who had assisted US Forces, such as translators. Funny, I don’t remember a peep of protest. Do you?

This article was idiotic. Violating the “spirit of air travel.” Please. The only countries that take any significant number of refugees under any circumstances are the US, Canada and the Western European countries. When can we expect Manu Venkat to post articles about the hardheartedness of these countries? What a joke.

I don’t come to AR for political bs. No more. Adios.

“WAAAAAH!!!!! WAAAAAH!!!!! YOU GOT POLITICS IN MY INTERNET!!!! WAAAAAH!!!!”

Seriously, you’re all being idiots. This crap is everywhere right now. You probably unfriended all your Facebook friends and stopped visiting every website as well, haven’t you?

You right-wing nutjobs were vomiting “constitution this!” and “founding fathers that!” all throughout Obama’s tenure, yet you can’t stand it when anyone else exercises those same rights and freedoms outside of your narrow field of vision. You claim to love America yet you spit venom whenever those cherished benefits are used to counter your opinions and beliefs. It would seem that conservative values are proprietary and select.

The internet is full of opinions you don’t agree with. Get used to it or get the fuck off.

Joe Smith

You are out of control. This action – while clumsily implemented- is perfectly reasonable. It should also include the Saudis. 

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read and comment. Please know that we welcome EVERYONE’S honest opinions here no matter your position on this issue. This article was written to share thoughts on a particular aviation-related piece of news, not to alienate anyone based on their party affiliation etc. Please continue the conversation here while staying courteous towards other commenters.

Big mistake to bring politics on a website that isn’t a political site. Seen a lot of sites destroyed because of that.

With that said, I support the temporary ban. It’s about time we get our boarders looked at and make adjustments where needed. It’s temporary pause people.

As a 20 year naval officer and pilot, and having worked on the staff for senior pentagon and joint chiefs of staff leadership, I have to say, without being political, that I’m unfortunately quite confident that Trump’s executive order will only serve to make the world less safe for US citizens…

lewtripp

How will it do that, Charlie? You mean by possibly keeping out ISIS “refugees” that want to kill Americans is going to make us less safe?

Airbus350

No Lew,,,by creating more dislike of the US, by creating an image of an ignorant population who have no interest,, or understanding of the world….

lewtripp

As a retired Army senior NCO, Pete, you are full of shit. I stand by America first and the safety of our people. I could give a rats ass less about who likes us or not. This isn’t about a popularity contest. This is about trying to stop people from coming here to kill and destroy. You and your ilk ask a hell of a price to pay to be “worldly”.

Jonathan

This board has never been so foul since the crazies arrived.

Follow me on Twitter @lefoudubaron

lewtripp

That depends on who you feel are crazies.

lewtripp

Politics was never on this board before. If you stir it up, it’s bound to smell.

Hey Lew, this is the most politics we have ever done on AR before, but everyone has the choice in how they handle it. It’s okay to disagree on things without having to make it personal. We have many other stories to enjoy that have more to do with airplanes :).

David | AirlineReporter

lewtripp

I call em’ like I see em’. Some of the writers on this board seem to think that they have superior intelligence and are more “worldly” as most leftist liberals falsely see themselves. I say what I think and I sure as hell ain’t apt to apologize for it. Donald J. Trump is my Commander-In-Chief and I will defend him. He is doing just what he was elected to do.

Jonathan

Some of us think civility trumps (pardon me) coarseness. Maybe this is linked to intelligence, education but I hope not.

Follow me on Twitter @lefoudubaron

lewtripp

as I said……………….

Joe Smith

Why?

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Pago Flyer

adios

KDTWflyer

Trump is an international embarrassment to the United States and will go down in history as one of the worst presidents this country has ever had at the helm. The EO and it’s implementation is a disgrace and will do nothing to enhance the security of the country. Fortunately, a federal judge in Washington State put forth at temporary restraining order on this nonsense. I attended Geek Fest last year and have always like Airline Reporter and wholeheartedly support your decision to report on this important issue. Oh, yeah, I am also a white middle class dude from the American Midwest and did not vote for DJT. Perhaps because I’m college-educated and have actually been outside of the United States before? – Minor trolling acknowledged 😉

Airbus350

Well said..

So what about people who voted for DJT that are college educated, have been outside the country (a lot)? Are their opinion as worthy for consideration as yours? Sorry for being a little snarky, but I really tired of the bashing of people who voted for Trump as uneducated idiots, racist, etc, etc, etc,

I don’t mind a debate about this EO, I welcome it. I for one think it is lawful and constitutional, and really hate how a court ruled against it because of popular opinion, that is not how the courts are suppose to work. If you think it is unconstitutional, but tell me how, I am listening.

KDTWflyer

Me, I my comment about college education with respect to DJT getting elected was largely a troll. There are plenty of highly intelligent and well-educated people that voted for DJT and their opinions are worth consideration. I also believe it is patently obvious that the white, middle-class, non college-educated electorate from the Midwest is what propelled him to office.

As for the EO being unconstitutional / unlawful or whatever there is no specific and articulable evidence that the persons of the 7 countries involved have or are soon to commit terrorist acts within the United States. Also, while not specifically stated in the EO, it is implicitly implied that this is a ban on Muslims.

An opinion on why it is ‘unconsitutional’

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/02/why-trumps-immigration-rules-are-unconstitutional-214722

The actual TRO is here

http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/general/2017/02/03/17-141_TRO_order.pdf

lewtripp

Obama was the worst president in the history of this country and quite a few others. Trump was duly elected by a majority of states by people that rejected another four years of Osama Obama, the former terrorist in chief. Hillary and the democrats LOST. Get over it.

KDTWflyer

Lewtripp,

Haha why are you so mad bro? Obama was a great president. Osama Obama? Last time I checked Obama was the guy gave the final ‘go’ order to get Osama in spring 2011. Former terrorist in chief? You cannot possibly be serious. I’m just afraid that Trump is needlessly pandering to fear and through his boisterous style will not tread the international waters in a prudent, calculating way like his predecessor. I worry about DJT making a miscalculation in the international arena that’s all. Feel free to disagree but I really don’t think Obama was the anti-Christ.

Oh also, last time I checked ~2.8 MILLION more people voted for the DJT’s opposition candidate.

lewtripp

Tim, I’m not mad at all. Again, Donald J. Trump is President of the United States. Hillary R. Clinton , the Benghazi killer is president of nothing. Count all the counties and states that voted for President Trump and that tells the story. No more of Obama’s anti-America agenda with Clinton’s defeat. He campaigned for her and begged for his legacy and got it, the worst president in the history of the USA. Have a nice day now.

Jonathan

Have loved your posts for a couple of years. One place we could go and read without having to deal with politics. But that changed with this post – a very un-American post I must say as well. Time to leave your site. Good luck in the future.

I’m with the POTUS / our Commander-in-Chief. Please unsubscribe. VR,

Lew Tripp

I’m out of here as well.

Jonathan in France

Excellent news to start the day!

Joe Smith

The 9th circuit court is way out of bounds on this ruling. Read the law if you doubt me.  Also, it’s amusing that Jeh Johnson said very specific things about serious national security threats from the 7 countries not so long ago. This was why Obama also employed special security considerations from anyone originating from those countries. 

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Good Lord, is there ANYPLACE a person can go and NOT HEAR ABOUT POLITICS??? But if you’re going to go that way, thank God the president is doing something about our sieve-like borders. His order could use some tweaking, but the knee jerk and bombastic reaction of his detractors don’t help anything either. People like the author come across as naive children. Unfortunately the world isn’t one big happy place and everybody doesn’t want to sit around singing Kumbaya. And I say all this as the spouse of an immigrant. As Ray Buckley just said to his own party…GROW UP! Try getting the real facts and doing something to help instead of throwing fits of hypocritical indignation.

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