The Middle East’s top airlines promote solutions for the electronic ban.
The ban, which covers nine airlines, forbids passengers from bringing any electronic devices larger than a cell phone into the cabin of non-stop flights to the US from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa.
Business travellers and their laptops are generally inseparable. Many passengers use time in transit to work. The laptops might also contain sensitive or confidential information companies don’t want getting out.
Corporate business travellers and their immense spending power are their single most important block of customers.
Emirates announced a service that will allow passengers to use their laptops and tablets until it’s time to board their US-bound flights instead of checking them with their luggage.
Prior to boarding, passengers hand over their laptops and other electronic devices to staff members to who pack them in secure boxes before storing them in the cargo hold.
Turkish Airlines has joined Emirates with a similar laptop handling policy. According to Turkish, passengers’ electronic devices will be packed in secure boxes at the departure gate. Once in the US, the boxes will be returned to them by the airline. To ensure security, airline employees will personally return each box to its rightful owner by matching baggage tag numbers.
“To help guests keep in touch with work, friends and family, we are offering First & Business Class guests free WiFi and iPads on all our US-bound flights, beginning Sunday, April 2,” Etihad said in an email to Business Insider.
“By providing this laptop loan service we can ensure that our passengers on flights to the US can continue to work whilst onboard,” Qatar Airways Group’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, said in a statement.
“This unique ability to offer ‘business as usual,’ above and beyond the competition, is yet another example of Qatar Airways justification for being the ‘World’s Best Business Class.’”
While Emirates’ program extends to all passengers, neither Etihad nor Qatar Airways’ service are available for the economy cabin. Emirates has also hinted that it, too, may offer laptop loans on board its flight.
Source: Business insider.