Emirates Will Entertain You Under the #ElectronicsBan

In case you haven’t heard, the US and UK are implementing a ban on large electronics on flights from a number of African and Middle Eastern cities.

A new "electronics ban" will require passengers to check electronic devices larger than a smart phone. D Coetzee/Flickr, used with permission.

A new “electronics ban” will require passengers to check electronic devices larger than a smart phone. D Coetzee/Flickr, used with permission.

The US electronics ban will affect flights to the US from the following airports, on all carriers that operate routes from there:

  • Queen Alia International Airport (AMM)
  • Cairo International Airport (CAI)
  • Ataturk International Airport (IST)
  • King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED)
  • King Khalid International Airport (RUH)
  • Kuwait International Airport (KWI)
  • Mohammed V Airport (CMN)
  • Hamad International Airport (DOH)
  • Dubai International Airport (DXB)
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)

The UK will implement the ban on flights originating from six countries, again on all carriers that operate the routes, which include British Airways:

  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey

The UK ban also specifies the size of electronic devices that can be brought onboard. Most smart phones will fall under the threshold (the Nexus 6P and iPhone 7 Plus barely make the cut), but if you’re sporting giant phones like the Nokia Lumia 1520, you might be forced to check it.

Canada is said to be reviewing intelligence from the US Department of Homeland Security and may implement a ban soon as well. Of course, in a since-deleted Royal Jordanian tweet that first brought this ban to the public’s attention, Montreal was included in the ban.

For the US version of the ban, airlines have 96 hours (starting from 8 am ET today) to comply. The ban is said to last indefinitely, according to the Department of Homeland Security. However, some sources said that the ban will last for 7 months, ending on October 14, 2017.

No doubt this will bring a lot of inconvenience to travelers. As we live in the digital age, many people rely on long flights to get work done on their laptops, or entertain themselves or accompanying children with their tablets. Losing access to those electronics during the flight will definitely be unpleasant.

But I have to hand it out to Emirates for publishing a video just in time before the ban fully takes effect:

Many of the carriers affected do have great in-flight entertainment selections, so hopefully those looking to pass time with movies or TV shows can find alternatives via the in-flight system. But folks that are hoping to score some productivity on a long-haul flight might have to wait until they land to get work done.

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