Airline fights US electronics ban with inflight iPads
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Airline fights US electronics ban with inflight iPads

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airlines to provide tablets, WiFi, to US-bound passengers in first and business classes

An Etihad Airlines jet. (Wikimedia Commons/ Kwlothrop CC BY-SA)
An Etihad Airlines jet. (Wikimedia Commons/ Kwlothrop CC BY-SA)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — One Mideast airline affected by the ban on most electronics in the cabins of US-bound flights will lend iPads to its top-paying travelers.

Abu Dhabi- based Etihad Airways told the Associated Press on Wednesday that it would offer the tablets to US-bound passengers in first and business class, along with vouchers for free onboard WiFi, starting on April 2.

Earlier this month, the US government barred passengers from 10 airports in eight Mideast and North African cities from carrying electronics larger than cell phones onto U-bound flights. Medical devices were exempted.

Etihad’s hub in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, was among the cities affected. The government-owned carrier operates 45 flights a week to six American cities: Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington.

US officials have not specified how long the ban will last, but the Dubai-based Emirates airline told the AFP news agency that it had been instructed to enforce the measures until at least October 14.

A Libyan traveler packs his laptop in his suitcase before boarding his flight for London at Tunis-Carthage International Airport on March 25, 2017.(AFP/Fethi Belaid)
A Libyan traveler packs his laptop in his suitcase before boarding his flight for London at Tunis-Carthage International Airport on March 25, 2017.(AFP/Fethi Belaid)

Britain has also announced a parallel electronics ban, effective Saturday, targeting all flights out of Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Lebanon.

The restrictions have come under criticism for targeting majority-Muslim countries.

The US ban in particular has raised eyebrows for covering airports from which American airlines do not operate direct flights.

But the United States and Britain have cited intelligence indicating passenger jets could be targeted with explosives planted in such devices.

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