Emirates lends tablet computers to cope with United States ban

Saturday, 08 Apr, 2017

Small electronic devices such as phones can still be taken onto aircraft after the US Transportation Security Administration directive that larger devices must travel in checked baggage on flights from specific airports.

Premium seat passengers on Emirates' US-bound flights can borrow tablets from the airline to continue working on board, Emirates said on Wednesday.

The Emirates move comes after rival Qatar offered a similar loan service involving laptops to premium customers flying on its direct flights to the US.

The tablets will come equipped with Microsoft Office 2016, and the airline recommends that passengers bring a USB stick with their files loaded on it so that they can continue to work during the flight. Etihadis is giving first and business class passengers an Apple iPad loaner, while Qatar Airways is lending passengers in business class a laptop computer.

Under the ban, devices larger than 16cm x 9.3cm are not allowed on board.

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Emirates airline has come up with a way to circumnavigate the United States laptop and tablet ban enforced on some of its flights from the Middle East.

Late last month, the airline also announced a way for passengers to use their laptops until just before boarding a USA bound flight, instead of checking them inside their luggage.

The ban, which began March 25, has been widely criticised and the International Air Transport Association has urged authorities to find an alternative.

Note that the restrictions do not affect the carrier's US-bound flights via Milan and Athens.

Emirates flies to 12 U.S. airports: Newark (EWR), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Orlando (MCO), Chicago (ORD), Boston (BOS), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Seattle (SEA), Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH), Washington (IAD) and New York (JFK).