On Wednesday, Emirates announced that it will offer complimentary
Microsoft Surface tablets for use on board non-stop flights to
This is the latest response by the Dubai-based airline to the
US Department of Homeland Security’s ban on all
electronics larger than a cell phone.
“Customers can download their work on to a USB which can be
brought on board and plugged into the devices to continue working
seamlessly,” Emirates said in a statement.
All loaners tablets will be equipped with Microsoft Office 2016.
Unfortunately for economy class passengers, the loaner tablets
will only be available for those traveling in first and business
Thus far, operations at Emirates, one of the nine major carriers
affected by the ban, has gone relatively well apart from some
slow arriving bags at US airports, airline president Sir Tim
Clark told Business Insider. However, that doesn’t mean the
airline’s passengers haven’t been inconvenienced by the ban which
was implemented late last month based on
intelligence indicating terrorists may target commercial
aircraft using explosives hidden in electronic devices.
Emirates, was the first of the major airlines to offer its
passengers a work around. On March 23, Emirates announced a service that will allow all
of its passengers to use their laptops and tablets until it’s
time to board their US-bound flights instead of checking them
with their luggage. According to the airline, nearly 8,000
passengers have utilized its complimentary laptop handling
service on its 112 weekly flights to the US.
Other affected airlines have also implemented ways to mitigate
the effects of the ban on its passengers.
Last week, Etihad announced its own tablet loan program
for its first and business class passengers with complimentary
iPads. A day later, Qatar Airways upped the ante by offering its
business class passengers free loaner PC laptops.
In addition, Turkish Airlines announced on Twitter this week that
passengers who turn in their laptops and tablets at boarding
would receive free WiFi on board the flight.Saudia also tweeted
that all passengers going to or returning from the US and UK will
get 20 MB of free WiFi access.
Here’s a video outlining how Emirates’ laptop handling program