PHOTO: An Emirates Airbus A380 in flight. (Photo via Flickr/Ozzy Delaney)
Starting Saturday, March 25, Dubai-based Emirates airline will introduce a new service which enables passengers to use their laptops and tablet devices until just before they board their flights to the United States.
Once the passengers traveling from Dubai to the U.S. reach their gate, they will have to declare and hand over their laptops, tablets and other banned electronic devices to security staff. Employees will place the items into boxes which will be loaded onto the aircraft and returned to their owners once the flight reaches its destination.
Emirates announced there will be no additional charge for this service.
While the airline is still asking passengers to pack their electronic devices in their checked luggage to avoid delays, Emirates officials have revealed that there will be detailed searches of all carry-on luggage for nonstop flights to the U.S. from Dubai.
“Our aim is to ensure compliance with the new rules, while minimizing disruption to passenger flow and impact on customer experience,” Emirates airline president Sir Tim Clark said in a statement. “Our new complimentary service enables passengers, particularly those flying for business, to have the flexibility to use their devices until the last possible moment.”
READ MORE: “US Travel Association Responds to Ban on Electronic Devices”
The changes for Emirates and its passengers come as new restrictions on electronic devices in the cabin take effect March 25. No electronic device larger than a cell phone or smartphone will be permitted in the cabin, excluding medical devices. The airline said it will have extra staff on hand to “ease and assist passengers.”
The restrictions on electronic devices are part of a directive from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and are applicable to passengers traveling from nine Middle East- and African-based airlines and 10 airports to America.
For more information on how Emirates is handling the ban, check out the airline’s official website.