Two weeks ago, the US Departement of Homeland Security announced an airline laptop ban for non-stop flights to the U.S. from select airports in the Middle East and Africa. Nine airlines are currently affected by the travel ban (EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways and Saudi Arabian Airlines). The measure is targeting laptops, tablets and other large electronic items, all now banned in the cabins of flights to the US.
However, some of these airlines have already found solutions to please their premium customers in need of a laptop during impacted flights. According to NBC News, Qatar Airways is currently loaning laptops to its business class customers, while Etihad Airways is offering free Wi-Fi and iPads to its first and business class customers.
Emirates Airlines has since joined the movement, and the company will be lending Microsoft Surface tablets to its first and business class passengers (via Stuff). All Surface tablets will come with the Office 2016 productivity suite, and Emirate Airlines is also inviting passengers in affected flights to load everything they need on an USB stick if they want to put the 2-in-1 devices to good use during their journey.
For now, the US Department of Homeland Security says that the airline laptop ban will last “indefinitely.” As a result, it makes sense for impacted airline companies to find a way around the ban to satisfy their most demanding passengers. It’s worth noting that smartphones are still allowed in affected flights, but we’re obviously not living in the post-PC world yet.Further reading: Airlines, Surface, US Government