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Passengers can use their electronics up until the moment of boarding.

Jess McHugh
March 24, 2017

Emirates Airline has found a way to comply with recent restrictions on the use of large electronics on non-stop flights to the U.S. while still accommodating passengers.

The Dubai-based airline will allow passengers to use their large electronics, such as tablets and laptops, at the gate and up until boarding time, at which point the airline will then securely check these items, according to a press release.

This directive comes after a rule issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) forbade passengers on flights flying non-stop to the U.S. from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa from bringing their large electronics into the cabin.

DHS claimed it was acting on a credible threat that terrorists were attempting to build bombs disguised inside large electronics. Security experts and other industry professionals have questioned the motives of this ban, however, asking whether it will actually make the U.S. safer from potential threats.

The affected airlines have attempted to accommodate the ban, which has no scheduled end date at this time. Many of the people flying from these airports to the U.S. are traveling for business, and access to some of their professional technology is crucial.

“Our aim is to ensure compliance with the new rules, while minimizing disruption to passenger flow and impact on customer experience," Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, said in a statement. 

"Our new complimentary service enables passengers, particularly those flying for business, to have the flexibility to use their devices until the last possible moment," he added.

Emirates will pack the devices in boxes and return them to passengers upon arrival.

Turkish Airlines followed suit Friday, announcing it would also allow passengers to continue using iPads and tablets at the gate, where they would then be transferred to the cargo hold for "safe and secure transportation," CNN Money reported.

The staff responsible for redistributing electronics upon arrival will need to check identification to ensure that the proper device is returned to its owner, according to the same report.

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