Gulf carriers respond to laptop ban
MIDDLE EASTERN CARRIERS have introduced services for US-bound customers affected by the US government’s recent ban on taking laptops on board.
The restrictions affect passengers heading to the US from ten airports in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, including Dubai International, Abu Dhabi and Doha’s Hamad International. Devices larger than 16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm need to be checked in, until October 14.
Emirates and Qatar Airways have both introduced a laptop handling service allowing US-bound passengers to use their devices on the first part of their journey before handing them over at the gate to be placed in the hold.
Emirates business and first class guests can borrow a Microsoft Surface tablet on board. Qatar Airways is loaning laptops to those in business class, and providing wifi free for one hour or US$5 for the flight. Etihad is offering premium passengers free iPads and wifi.
Emirates is reducing flight frequencies on five of its 12 US routes, citing the “direct impact” of the US government’s “recent actions” on passenger demand.
The UK has also since implemented an onboard laptop ban, affecting passengers travelling from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey. Flights originating from Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai are not affected. emirates.com, etihad.com, qatarairways.com