Lonely Planet Writer

These airlines will supply US-bound travelers affected by laptop ban with free Wi-Fi, iPads, laptops

As airlines cope with a US ban on travelers bringing laptops or electronics larger than a mobile phone in their carry-on luggage when flying to the US from eight countries, companies based in those nations are coming up with new solutions to minimize disruptions to passengers.

Etihad is offering free Wi-Fi and iPads for premium guests flying from Abu Dhabi, to help minimize the impact of going onboard without a laptop. Doha-based Qatar Airways also announced it plans to offer travelers a laptop on loan and Wi-Fi services. 

Etihad, an airline based in the UAE, one of the countries affected by the ban, announced that starting on 2 April, first and business-class guests will receive their Wi-Fi voucher from cabin crew with their onboard welcome drink. While passengers can carry their mobile phones, there will also be iPads available for on all US-bound flights for people who need them, and power and USB ports.

Woman at airport using tablet.
Woman at airport using tablet. Image by J. James/Getty Images

The ban applies to passengers on US-bound flights from and transiting through Abu Dhabi. Laptops, iPads, cameras and e-readers need to be in checked luggage and passengers traveling to the US through Abu Dhabi must check their electronics at their point of origin. Etihad Airways operates 45 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and six cities across the United States: New York, Washington, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

While Abu Dhabi International Airport is not part of a similar ban related to direct flights heading to the UK, the airline notes that enhanced security screening is probably for guests traveling to London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Other airlines affected by the ban have announced their plans to make it easier for travelers heading to the US from the countries facing the restrictions. Emirates has added a program that will let passengers use their laptop right up until they board, and then check their items right before they leave.

Turkish Airlines also announced that travelers can hand in their laptops while boarding a US-bound flight and have access to free in-flight Wi-Fi on their mobile device.

This story was updated on 31 March.

Get the top travel news stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday by signing up to our newsletter.