World

Emirates offers free packing-and-handling service

DUBAI: Emirates Airline yesterday announced it will provide a free packing-and-handling service for passengers on flights hit by a US ban on electronic devices larger than a standard smartphone.

Dubai-based Emirates will allow passengers to hold on to their laptops and tablets after checking in until boarding time, when security staff at the gates will themselves pack the devices into boxes and load them onto the flight.

"Our new complimentary service enables passengers, particularly those flying for business, to have the flexibility to use their devices until the last possible moment," said Mr Tim Clark, president of Emirates.

The devices will be returned to their owners upon arrival in the US free of charge.

The service from Emirates, which prides itself as an airline of choice for business travellers, is also available for passengers transiting through Dubai International Airport.

The US ban on laptops and tablets applies to flights from 10 airports in the region, including direct flights to the US from Dubai International Airport and Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey.

US airlines do not operate direct flights out of the airports included in the ban. A similar British ban covers all airports in Turkey, Jordan and four other countries, but not the United Arab Emirates. - AFP

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