Qatar Launches "Laptop Loan" Service to Counter Electronics Ban
We're almost a week into the large carry-on electronics ban, and airlines are constantly one-upping each other. First, Royal Jordanian brought the fire on social media. Emirates was the first airline to offer a service to gate-check your electronics — which we tested first-hand — and Turkish Airlines quickly followed. While unpublicized, Qatar and Etihad are providing the same service.
Yesterday, Etihad stepped up its response by launching free Wi-Fi and iPads for business and first-class passengers affected by the ban.
Now, Qatar is taking it to the next level with a new "Laptop Loan" service. Starting "next week," business-class passengers traveling to the US will have complimentary laptops available on board for the duration of the flight. Passengers traveling in all classes will still have the option to check electronics at the gate, but business-class passengers will now be able to effectively trade their laptop for a loaner device at the gate.
Not flying in business class? Qatar will also "guarantee the comfort and productivity of all passengers" by offering all passengers one hour of free Wi-Fi or an option to buy a full-flight package for just $5.
While we're looking forward to a more permanent solution which will allow passengers to carry-on their large electronic devices, we applaud Qatar and Etihad for taking massive strides to offer loaner devices for premium cabin passengers. We look forward to other airlines providing similar passenger-friendly solutions.