Gulf carrier Emirates has responded to the ban on laptops in carry-on bags on flights to the US by introducing a laptop and tablet handling service at its Dubai hub.
Emirates passengers on US-bound flights via Dubai will be able to use laptops and tablets on flights into Dubai and until boarding their service to the US.
The US Department of Homeland Security announced the carry-on ban on all electronic devices bigger than a smartphone on Tuesday.
It applies to nine airlines flying from 10 international airports in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Istanbul.
The UK followed suit with a less extensive ban, excluding the UAE and Qatar, on devices larger than 16cm x 9.3cm. Other EU states are expected to follow.
The US ban comes into force on Saturday on US flights operated by Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and other carriers, but not those from the US.
Emirates said transfer passengers travelling to the US will be able to retain laptops and tablets as carry-on items on the first leg of journeys and during transit in Dubai.
But they must declare and hand over their electronic devices to security staff at the gate before boarding a US-bound flight.
The devices will be packed in boxes, loaded on to the aircraft and returned to them at their US destination.
Emirates said passengers on US-bound flights who start their journeys in Dubai should pack devices into check-in luggage to avoid delays.
In a statement, the airline said: “Customers should be aware there will be a detailed search of all hand baggage on non-stop flights to the US from Dubai.
“They should declare their devices before the search, or ensure their electronic devices are packed into check-in luggage.”
Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said: “Our aim is to ensure compliance with the new rules while minimising disruption to passenger flow and impact on customer experience.”
The service is complimentary. Emirates pledged to deploy extra staff at Dubai airport to assist passengers as the rules come into force.
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