Qatar Airways has announced a “unique” solution to the recently imposed US ban on electronic devices by offering its business class passengers a “laptop loan service”.
Qatar Airways has thus become the only airline to offer passengers a replacement laptop on all its flights to the United States.
Etihad plans to lend laptops
The complimentary laptops will be available to business class passengers travelling on all US-bound flights from next week and can be collected from the gate just before boarding. Customers will be able to download their work on to a USB before stepping on board to pick up where they left-off.
Qatar Airways is offering a “special” service at the gate for all passengers, whereby any electronic items prohibited by the new ban will be collected and securely packaged.
These will be tagged, loaded as check-in baggage and returned safely to the customer on arrival to the US.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker said, “As an award-winning and global airline, we truly appreciate the importance of being able to work on board our aircraft and that is why I have insisted on offering only the best possible solution for our customers. By providing this laptop loan service we can ensure that our passengers on flights to the US can continue to work whilst on-board. This unique ability to offer ‘business as usual’, above and beyond the competition, is yet another example of Qatar Airways justification for being the ‘World’s Best Business Class’.
“While other airlines have relied on their existing on board offering to comfort passengers we have not rested until we could offer a true solution to our passengers. Our constant innovation and ability to react to changes in the industry is something I am very proud of. The launch of Qsuite, our new business class product just this month, and other announcements soon to come, are testament to our ongoing passion for providing the absolute best for our customers.”
Once on board passengers have a choice of more than 3,000 entertainment options on the award-winning in-flight entertainment system, dedicated kids activity packs in partnership with Hasbro, luxury amenity kits, a seasonal menu and snack bar, are able to browse the on board magazines and newspapers, enjoy the lie-flat beds in Business Class and utilise the complimentary WiFi on all flights.
In another move to “guarantee the comfort and productivity” of all passengers on board US-bound flights, Qatar Airways is providing one hour of free WiFi for all passengers and a special WiFi package of $5 to stay connected for the duration of the whole flight.
"When most people’s smartphones will be the only device they can take on-board this generous offer will ensure passengers can stay connected and stay entertained."
Qatar Airways this year celebrates 20 years of ‘Going Places Together’ with travellers across more than 150 business and leisure destinations.
The Doha-based airline, Qatar’s national carrier, will continue to add a number of “exciting” new destinations to its growing network in 2017, including Dublin, Nice, Skopje and many more, flying passengers on board its modern fleet of some 195 aircraft.
Etihad Airways is considering lending some passengers laptop computers and tablets to use on its flights following the new US ban, adds Reuters.
The security measures were introduced on March 25. Gulf airlines depend on business-class flyers stopping over in places like Dubai or Doha for far-flung destinations.
Etihad emailed frequent flyer members on Tuesday to announce it would lend out tablets and offer unlimited WiFi to busines and first-class passengers travelling on US-bound flights.
Reuters has seen a copy of the email.
Etihad has previously said passengers could hand over prohibited devices at the gate in order to minimise the disruption.
Emirates is also considering loaning devices to passengers travelling to the United States, President Tim Clark was quoted as telling Bloomberg on Monday.
The airline was the first to say its passengers could hand over devices immediately prior to boarding.
The new regulations apply to direct flights to the United States from 10 airports in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
The regulations, prompted by reports that militant groups want to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets, state that electronics larger than a mobile phone - including laptops and tablets - must be stowed with checked baggage on US-bound passenger flights.