We wrote about the new electronics ban that will affect some Middle Eastern carriers flying to the US and UK from certain airports and countries. Now two of the affected airlines, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, are responding to the ban by offering free laptops or tablets on board. You don’t get to keep the items and they’ll only be offered to their business and first class passengers.
Qatar Airways announced that it will loan laptops to its business class customers on US-bound flights. Passengers can use USB drives to store their work. Banned electronic items will be collected at the gate prior to boarding and loaded on the plane as checked baggage. Qatar is also offering one hour of free Wi-Fi to all passengers, with a $5 fee for Wi-FI across the length of the flight.
Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, also announced earlier this week that its first and business class passengers will be offered iPads for use during flight, as well as free Wi-Fi for their smartphones.
This takes care of their premium passengers, but those flying in economy will still have to rely on their phones for these long flights that can last up to 12-13 hours.