Electronics ban be damned, Qatar Airways is going to get its hard-working business travelers typing away on laptops no matter what.
Less than a week after U.S. officials banned electronics larger than a smartphone on certain U.S.-bound flights from certain Middle East and Africa airports, the Doha-based airliner figured out how to get out of the snarly mess that is the ban.
The airline is offering loaner laptops since in-flight entertainment systems just don’t cut it for people traveling for work. Writing up reports or endless work emails on a smartphone is headache sometimes you just need the real thing. That performance report isn’t going to write itself during your 15-hour flight.
So, how this works: business class passengers will download any necessary info onto a USB flash drive before boarding. Once onboard, passengers can upload that personal data onto a complimentary loaner laptop. At the gate, banned electronics like that laptop you just downloaded files from will be collected and stowed away for free.
For others less inclined to get work done, Qatar is offering one free hour of Wi-Fi to all passengers (or $5 for the whole trip) so everyone can go online on their smartphones, which are allowed in the cabin. There are also movies, TV shows, magazines, newspapers, podcasts, books and chowing down to keep you occupied. Or you could just sleep.
Emirates, another airline affected by the U.S. ban, already announced a service to stow away banned electronics at the gate, so passengers can use laptops, tablets, e-readers and other devices while waiting to board and on earlier legs of flights.
These airlines are getting creative to keep passengers entertained and happy.
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