Emirates is loaning Microsoft Surface tablets to its Emirates First Class and Emirates Business Class passengers, as another effort to mitigate the electronics ban on flights from Dubai (see US Bans Laptops as Carry-ons for Flights from Dubai and Middle East to U.S.).
Passengers can first save their work to a USB stick to take with them, then continue working onboard using the loaned tablet, before saving their work before deplaning and collecting their laptop or tablet at baggage claim--see the Emirates video below for how this works.
Of course, this works best for those who already work on a PC rather than a Mac, but it's good to see Emirates offering this option.
Is There a Charge for the Loaned Tablet?
No, the service is complimentary for all Emirates First Class and Business Class passengers.
For Flights Via Dubai to the U.S., Can Passengers Use Their Laptop on the Flight to Dubai?
Yes, if you're connecting in Dubai on a flight to the U.S., you can use your laptop or tablet on the flight to Dubai and during transit in Dubai, then Emirates personnel will pack up your device just before you board the plane for delivery to you at baggage claim at your U.S. entry point.
Does the Electronic Device Ban Affect Emirates Flights Departing the U.S. or Other Countries and Flying to Dubai?
No, the ban is only on Emirates' nonstop flights departing Dubai for the U.S.
How About Emirates Flights Departing Milan or Athens for the U.S.?
The TSA electronics ban does NOT affect EK205 from Milan to JFK or EK209 from Athens to EWR.
What's Included in the Electronics Ban?
The ban includes electronic devices larger than a smartphone of 16 x 9.3 x 1.5 cm, such as the following devices (but is not limited to them):
- Laptop computers
- Portable DVD players
- Electronic game units larger than a smartphone
- Travel printers and scanners
But What About Lithium Batteries? I Thought They're Not Allowed in Checked Luggage?
Per Emirates, loose lithium ion batteries may not be packed as checked luggage, but lithium ion batteries contained within a device can be checked. Extended power supply units may be taken with you in the cabin.
Will Emirates Tablet Loan service help you, or are you avoiding Emirates and other flights to the U.S. impacted by the electronics ban?