Emirates introduces laptop handling service

HPEarlier this week the DHS enacted a ban on electronic devices larger than a cell phone on the cabins of certain US-bound flights. This has caused a certain amount of panic in business travelers, many of whom frequent the affected routes and need their laptops in transit. To ease concerns somewhat, Emirates has announced a laptop handling service which will allow business travelers to use their laptop up until boarding. The new service will be free, requiring all passengers to declare their electronics during gate-side screening in Dubai. The devices will be carefully packed in boxes, placed in the cargo hold, and returned to customers at their final destination. (I assume that means once they get to customs, as passengers are required to pickup their checked baggage and re-check in once they reach the US.)

Obviously this does not fix all of the issues created by the ban, but it is definitely better than the alternative. Those who need to work during transit can have access to their laptops for all connecting flights and layovers, and only the actual flight to the US will be laptop-free. This service sounds far more secure than typical checked baggage, although of course that remains to be seen.

Despite the new service, Emirates still recommends passengers pack their electronics in their checked baggage. For those hoping to sneak something through, security will be doing thorough screening of carry-ons. I would hope that if they catch something they will give you the opportunity to put it in the cargo hold!

Readers, have you flown on flights affected by the ban? Would you use this laptop handling service?

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