Emirates Loaning Tablets to Passengers on US-Bound Flights

Apr 5, 2017

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Since the electronics ban was first announced, affected airlines have been quick to come up with solutions for passengers facing the new inconvenience of not being able to bring their large electronic devices with them on board. Instead of forcing travelers to sit through a long-haul flight without electronics, some airlines, such as Qatar and Etihad, are offering a device loan service — Qatar is offering a “Laptop Loan” service and Etihad, an iPad loaner and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Not long after the ban was finalized, Emirates also announced that it would allow customers to “gate check” their electronic devices, to be picked up upon their arrival in the US. Emirates has since released a video to explain how the complimentary service works for all passengers, regardless of class. The “gate check” service has been available since the ban was first implemented on March 25, 2017.

In addition to the airline’s check option, Emirates also announced that beginning today, business and first-class passengers will get Microsoft Surface tablets. Each device will come equipped with Microsoft Office 2016, and premium travelers will be allowed to borrow one of the tablets for the duration of their flight. In a press release, Emirates detailed that passengers could move files from their laptop to a USB drive, plug that into the tablet and resume work on board.

With the new service, passengers can use their laptop up until boarding, gate check it and then resume work on one of the tablets when they board the plane. According to Emirates, nearly 8,000 passengers have used the carrier’s “gate check” option since it was first introduced last month, including TPG Community Manager JT Genter when he flew with the carrier back to the US.

While the electronics ban is certainly an inconvenience to Emirates and its customers, this new device loan option should help make flights a bit more tolerable. It’ll be interesting in the coming months to see how airlines affected by the electronics ban respond and come up with new ways to make flying as enjoyable as possible.

Featured image courtesy of Emirates.

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