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Emirates has introduced a laptop and tablet handling service as it looks to minimise the impact of the electronic device ban introduced by the US and UK this week.
The airline’s passengers travelling to the US via Dubai will be able to use their devices on the first part of their journeys, and also during transit in Dubai before handing them over at the gate, where they will be “carefully packed into boxes, loaded into the aircraft hold, and returned to the customer at their US destination”.
There will be no charge for this service.
The new restrictions come into force on March 25, and Emirates said that it would deploy extra staff at the airport “to ease and assist passengers, especially in the first days of the new rules being implemented”.
Passengers are able to take smartphones on board, and the carrier said that historical data shows that 90 per cent of its passengers connecting to wifi and mobile connectivity on US flights already do so using these type of devices, with only six per cent connecting via laptops and four per cent via tablets.
Tim Clark, president Emirates said: “Our aim is to ensure compliance with the new rules, while minimising disruption to passenger flow and impact on customer experience. Our new complimentary service enables passengers, particularly those flying for business, to have the flexibility to use their devices until the last possible moment.