Qatar Airways is offering loaner laptops to its business class passengers in the wake of a U.S. ban on them on flights from several countries.
“As an award-winning and global airline we truly appreciate the importance of being able to work on board our aircraft and that is why I have insisted on offering only the best possible solution for our customers,” said Akbar Al Baker, the company’s CEO. “By providing this laptop loan service we can ensure that our passengers on flights to the US can continue to work whilst on-board. This unique ability to offer ‘business as usual’, above and beyond the competition, is yet another example of Qatar Airways justification for being the ‘World’s Best Business Class.’”
A news statement from the airline did not say what kind of computers the loaners will be, nor what software will be available. Photos posted with the statement show a MacBook Pro.
The airline says customers will be able to bring their own USB sticks so they can have access to documents they may be working on.
In a nod to economy passengers, the airline says it will offer one hour of free wi-fi as well as full wi-fi access for the entire flight for $5.
The ban on devices, which as announced earlier this month, includes tablets, e-readers, portable DVD players or any electronic device bigger than a smartphone.
The policy only covers nonstop flights to the U.S. from 10 airports in North Africa and the Middle East. Some of the airports include busy hubs like Istanbul, Turkey, and Dubai in the UAE.
Flights to these destinations from the U.S. are not subject to the ban.
Other airlines affected by the ban are taking similar steps. Emirates is letting passengers use laptops up to the moment they board, and Etihad is offering free wi-fi and iPads to its premium customers.