Emirates: Use our new ‘laptop handling service’ to beat ban – USA TODAY
Emirates airline will introduce a âlaptop and tablet handling service,â a move that follows an electronics carry-on banÂ introduced by the United States this week.
With the service, Emirates is attempting to minimize the inconvenience to fliers affected by the new U.S. directive, which indefinitely covers U.S.-bound flights from 10 airports in Africa, the Middle East and Turkey. Dubai, where Emirates operates a major international connecting hub, is among the airports covered by the ban. The United Kingdom also has introduced a similar measure, though its ban does not include Dubai.
Emirates’ new handling service will be offered for free to customers traveling to the U.S. from Dubai, allowing them to use their laptaps and tablets until just before boarding.
Prior to boarding, customers will be required to âdeclare and hand over their laptops, tablets, and other banned electronic devices to security staffâ as they go through gate-side screening in Dubai.
Emirates says âthe devices will be carefully packed into boxes, loaded into the aircraft hold, and returned to the customer at their U.S. destination.â
âOur aim is to ensure compliance with the new rules, while minimizing disruption to passenger flow and impact on customer experience,â Emirates president Tim Clark says in a statement. âOur new complimentary service enables passengers, particularly those flying for business, to have the flexibility to use their devices until the last possible moment.â
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Still, despite the new handling option, Emirates said U.S.-bound passengers leaving from Dubai âare encouraged to pack their electronic devices into their (checked) luggage in the first instance, to avoid delays.â
Emirates also warned fliers hoping to take advantage of the service âshould be aware that there will be a detailed search of all hand baggage on non-stop flights to the U.S. from Dubai. They should therefore declare their devices before the search, or ensure their electronic devices are packed into their (checked) luggage.â
Dubai-based Emirates, of course, is one of the carriers likely to feel the most-significant effects of the U.S. electronics ban.
Overall, the policy affects about 50 flights a day to the U.S., a large number of which are operated by Emirates. The carrier flies to flies to 12 U.S. airports, offering multiple daily flights on some routes.
Emirates also flies two nonstop routes from Europe to the United States, though those services â one from Milan and another from Athens â are not covered by the electronics ban.
Emirates has already responded to the electronics ban by rolling out a lighthearted social media ad saying: âWho needs tablets and laptops anyway?â The spot, which features spokeswoman Jennifer Aniston, instead plays up Emirates robust in-flight entertainment options.
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