Emirates offers ingenious workaround to the laptop ban
Airlines are getting creative following the new ban on electronic devices on flights into the U.S. from certain Middle Eastern and African airports.
Emirates, one of those affected with flights coming in from Dubai, announced Thursday a service for laptop-using travelers who want to use their banned device to actually get some work done.
The new service lets passengers use their laptops and tablets until right before they board. That means time at the gate won't be wasted with your computer long gone in checked baggage. Then, when it's time to board, Emirates will collect the devices and pack them away in the cargo hold. Once in the U.S., the devices will be returned — all at no charge.
Emirates Airline president Sir Tim Clark said in a statement, "Our new complimentary service enables passengers, particularly those flying for business, to have the flexibility to use their devices until the last possible moment."
He also noted that travelers should take advantage of their smartphones — which are not included in the ban. Clark said on Emirates flights into the U.S. already 90 percent of passengers using the in-flight Wi-Fi connect to it on their smartphones. The other 10 percent is broken down to 6 percent on laptops and 4 percent on tablets.
Since the ban was announced earlier this week, airlines have been making light of the new rules and promoting their in-flight entertainment systems. But for business travelers the "no laptops" rule is putting a crimp in their output — especially on these long 15 hour flights.
Even Clark from Emirates suggested kicking back instead of working away. "Perhaps the silver lining to this is that they can now justifiably give themselves a break from their devices, enjoy our onboard service and catch up on the latest movies, music, and TV box sets that we have on offer," he said.
The ban goes into effect Saturday, so start learning how to make slideshow presentations really fast.
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