Emirates is offering Microsoft Surface tablets loaded with Microsoft Office to its premium cabin customers for use in flight. Emirates is joining Qatar and Etihad Airways in giving flyers a way to get work done after the US and UK banned inbound travelers flying from a number of Middle Eastern countries from carrying electronic devices larger than a smartphone into the cabin.
The Dubai-based airline says customers can bring a USB stick with them on board and plug into the loaner tablets. The service will be available on all nonstop flights from Dubai to the United States.
Emirates says almost 8,000 passengers have used a special electronics-handling service on its 112 weekly nonstop flights from Dubai to the US, where passengers hand their laptops or tablets to airline representatives at boarding, before receiving them upon deplaning in the US. Devices are packed and stored in the aircraft hold during flight.
Qatar Airways announced last month that it would loan laptops to its business class customers, while Etihad is offering iPads to premium class customers. The loans are clever way for the airlines to help flyers work around the new security requirements.