Emirates said on Wednesday that it has introduced another service to mitigate the inconvenience of the recent ban on electronic devices on board US-bound flights.
Beginning on Wednesday, First and Business Class passengers will be able to borrow tablets on board Emirates’ US-bound flights allowing them to continue working during their flight, the airline said in a statement.
The new service is in response to the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) directive which requires all passengers travelling on non-stop flights to the US from Dubai to check-in their laptops, tablets, and other personal electronic devices larger than a smart phone, it added.
US President Donald Trump banned electronic devices bigger than mobile phones on direct flights to the US from 10 airports in eight majority-Muslim countries including the UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
As part of this latest service, Emirates premium customers will have Microsoft Surface tablets equipped with Microsoft Office 2016 available for loan on board.
Customers can download their work on to a USB which can be brought on board and plugged into the devices to continue working seamlessly.
The service is free and will be available on all non-stop flights from Dubai to Emirates’ US destinations.
For customers who prefer to stow away their personal devices, Emirates had introduced a laptop and tablet handling service for US-bound customers. This free service has been made available to passengers in all cabin classes since March 25, which was when the new TSA rules took effect.
To date, nearly 8,000 passengers have used Emirates’ laptop and tablet handling service on the airline’s 112 weekly non-stop flights departing Dubai International airport to cities in the US.
The TSA directive does not apply to Emirates’ US-bound flights via Milan (EK205) and Athens (EK209). It also does not impact flights departing from the US, or Emirates’ flights to any other destination.
Emirates serves 12 US airports with passenger flights - Newark, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Dallas, Houston, Washington and New York.
Last week, Qatar Airways said it has taken the step to purchase laptops available for loan on all of their US flights to allow "uninterrupted productivity and service" throughout the journey.
Etihad Airways also said it will offer free Wi-Fi and iPads to its first and business class passengers on all its US-bound flights from Abu Dhabi from April 2.
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