Emirates has introduced another service to mitigate the inconvenience of the recent ban on electronic devices on board US-bound flights. Beginning today, First and Business Class passengers will be able to borrow tablets on board Emirates’ US-bound flights allowing them to continue working during their flight.
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The new service is in response to the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) directive which requires all passengers travelling on non-stop flights to the US from Dubai to check-in their laptops, tablets, and other personal electronic devices larger than a smart phone.
As part of this latest service, Emirates premium customers will have a Microsoft Surface tablets equipped with Microsoft Office 2016 available for loan on board. Customers can download their work on to a USB which can be brought on board and plugged into the devices to continue working seamlessly.
The service is complimentary and will be available on all non-stop flights from Dubai to Emirates’ US destinations.
For customers who prefer to stow away their personal devices and simply enjoy the award winning inflight entertainment and service on board, Emirates had introduced a laptop and tablet handling service for US-bound customers. This complimentary service has been made available to passengers in all cabin classes since 25 March 2017, which was when the new TSA rules took effect.
This service allows customers to retain and utilise their personal devices until just before they board their US-bound flights. Passengers must then declare and hand over their laptops, tablets, and other banned electronic devices to security staff at the boarding gate, who will pack and tag each device to be stored in the aircraft hold and returned to the customer at their US destination.
To date, nearly 8,000 passengers have utilised Emirates’ laptop and tablet handling service on the airline’s 112 weekly non-stop flights departing Dubai International airport to cities in the USA. Emirates has received positive feedback from appreciative customers, and reports an even mix of Economy, Business and First class passengers utilising its laptop and tablet handling service.
These two new services by Emirates gives customers travelling to the US several options, such as: packing their electronic devices into their check-in baggage at their point of departure; the opportunity to use their laptops and tablet on their first leg of their journeys and during transit in Dubai, up to the moment they board their US-bound flight; and for premium customers the choice to continue working on loaned devices on board. Customers can stay connected in the air with mobile phone connectivity, in-seat telephones with SMS and email and live TV on most flights. Currently, over 85% of Emirates’ fleet of passenger aircraft is equipped with Wi-Fi on board.
The TSA directive does not apply to Emirates’ US-bound flights via Milan (EK205) and Athens (EK209). It also does not impact flights departing from the US, or Emirates’ flights to any other destination.
Emirates serves 12 US airports with passenger flights – Newark (EWR), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Orlando (MCO), Chicago (ORD), Boston (BOS), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Seattle (SEA), Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH), Washington (IAD) and New York (JFK).