will begin a free laptop loan program next week for business class passengers traveling
to the U.S.
The move is an
effort to alleviate the inconvenience caused by the Trump administration's
recently imposed ban on carry-on electronics for passengers flying from eight
Middle Eastern and North Africa countries, including Qatar.
airlines have relied on their existing onboard offering to comfort passengers,
we did not rest until we could offer a true solution to our passengers,"
Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker said in a prepared remark.
program, business-class passengers on any Qatar flight to the U.S. will be able
to borrow a PC for the duration of the trip. They can then upload their work
from a USB.
The move goes beyond
efforts by other impacted airlines, which have also sought to reduce the impact
of the electronics ban. Qatar and Emirates, for example, have begun collecting
electronics at the gate and then packing and stowing them so that passengers
can hold onto their equipment for as long as possible.
The Department of
Homeland Security enacted the electronics ban on March 25, citing unspecified
efforts by terrorist organizations to smuggle explosive devices onto planes in
consumer items. The ban applies to electronics larger than a cell phone,
including tablets, laptops and e-readers, cameras and DVD devices.
The U.K. has
enacted a similar ban for flyers coming from six Middle Eastern and North
African nations, though it doesn't apply to Qatar.
organizations have complained that the ban reduces productivity.