In-flight laptop ban
THE US AND UK have issued a ban on carry-on electronics for flights from certain Middle Eastern, European and North African destinations (though strangely – and significantly – the US ban includes the airports of Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which the UK ban does not).
Dubbed the “laptop ban”, the ruling applies to laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic games, though medical devices and mobile phones will be allowed on board.
The Gulf carriers have been hardest hit by the security measure, but have responded positively. Emirates was first off the mark, offering a free laptop and tablet handling service at the gate. Etihad reacted by offering business class passengers free wifi and iPads, while Qatar Airways announced it would offer a laptop loan service to business class passengers.
However, Emirates has since confirmed plans to reduce frequencies on five of its 12 US routes, for which it blames “recent actions taken by the US government”. emirates.com; etihad.com; qatarairways.com