Saturday, April 01, 2017

Beating the Electronic Ban on Flights to USA

Different airlines are working hard to calm their passengers who are irate over the ludicrous ban on laptops and tablets aboard flights to the USA... first up Royal Air Maroc

Then there was these twelve-point suggestions from Royal Jordanian Airlines...

But the smartest response to date appears to be that of Qatar Airlines...

Qatar Airways is the only airline to offer passengers a replacement laptop on all flights to the US in response to the Electronics Ban. The ‘Laptop Loan’ service ensures business travellers can continue to work as they travel on Qatar Airways flights. A Wi-Fi special offer allows all passengers to benefit from unlimited connectivity. - Qatar press release
Fights from Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Morocco are now forced to prohibit passengers from carrying any electronics larger than a smartphone in the cabin. The United Kingdom adopted a similar ban on flights from Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Lebanon and Tunisia.

The foreign carriers are abiding by the restrictions, but they’re not happy. The International Air Transport Assn., the trade group for the world’s carriers, called on the U.S. and the U.K. to “urgently find alternatives” to the ban.

“The current measures are not an acceptable long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate,” Alexandre de Juniac, director general and chief executive officer for the group, said in a statement. He said U.S. and British security officials have not shared information or coordinated efforts with the industry about the security threat that lead to the ban.

Meanwhile, Emirates Airlines seem to be struggling with finding a solution to the electronics ban and have come up with an awkward program that lets passengers use their laptops and tablet devices on the first leg of their trip before leaving for the U.S. from Emirates’ hub in Dubai. However, just before boarding the flight to the U.S., Emirates staff will collect and store the laptops and tablets into the cargo hold of the planes.

“Our aim is to ensure compliance with the new rules while minimising disruption to passenger flow and impact on customer experience,” said Tim Clark, president of Emirates. He added that few passengers use their own laptops or tablets on Emirates planes because they have access to the carrier’s seat-back entertainment system.

In response to the restrictions, Etihad Airways announced that its first- and business-class passengers would be loaned iPads and given free WiFi service on direct flights from Abu Dhabi, UAE, to the U.S., starting April 2.

Sadly, the laptop and tablet ban may not be the last of its kind. Beware exploding underwear!


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