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How Two Airlines Are Working Around the Laptop Ban

Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways Offering
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kamran Jebreili/AP/REX/Shutterstock (6784074a) Etihad Airways An Etihad Airways plane prepares to land at the Abu Dhabi airport in the United Arab Emirates. The CEOs of American Airlines and Delta Air Lines on met with Secretary of State John Kerry as they stepped up their fight against what they say is unfair competition from the three biggest Middle East airlines US Airlines Middle East Rivals, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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* Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways offering loaner laptops on flights
* Airlines responding to electronic device ban
* Measure was passed to beef up security into U.S.

The controversial device ban is now being implemented on US-bound flights from 10 airports in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, but it isn’t all bad news for passengers. Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways are helping to ease your trip by lending passengers laptops and tablets to use while on board.

The electronics ban, which went into effect on March 25, forces passengers to check any devices larger than a mobile phone, including cameras, computers and tablets. But an outcry from business travelers — who are often expected to get work done during their long-haul flights — has led a couple airlines to come up with some temporary solutions.

Qatar Airways has announced that complimentary laptops would be available to business class passengers traveling to the States. They’ll sign in and pick up their loaner laptops just prior to boarding, and then return them upon arrival.

Reuters reports that Etihad Airlines, meantime, is lending tablets and offering unlimited WiFi to business and first-class passengers traveling on U.S.-bound flights.

The goal for both airlines is to offer a “business as usual” service, despite the restrictions. Passengers on both Qatar and Etihad will be able to use their own personal devices right up until boarding, where they will then have to hand over any prohibited devices at the gate, to be stowed with checked-in luggage. Emirates Airlines has already been offering that option. According to Bloomberg, Emirates is also considering loaning devices to passengers traveling to the U.S.

The new restrictions were implemented by the Trump administration following reports that electronic gadgets were being seen as prime targets for militants looking to smuggle explosive devices on-board.