by J Paul Webber
Qatar Airways has introduced special services for passengers traveling to the U.S. from or through Qatar’s Doha Hamad International Airport by offering a laptop loan service in Business Class and by allowing passengers in all classes to use their electronic devices up until final screening at the departure gates of U.S.-bound flights.
It is Qatar Airways’ goal to ensure compliance with the recently-introduced U.S. Government Regulations while doing the utmost to minimize the effect on the passenger experience:
All U.S.-bound passengers including those transferring and those starting their journey in Doha Qatar will be able to use their electronic devices until entering the gate area in Doha. Additionally, passengers transiting in Doha and connecting to U.S.-bound flights will be able to use their devices on the first part of their journey.
U.S.-bound passengers who arrive at the boarding gate with electronic devices larger than 6.3 inches x 3.7 inches x 0.6 inches (16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm) will be assisted by Qatar Airways’ ground services staff. They will ensure such devices are carefully bubble wrapped in the presence of the owner, placed in a carton box, further covered with a polythene plastic bag and tagged for ease of tracking. The wrapped devices will then be securely placed in the aircraft’s hold. Customers must ensure all electronic devices are switched off prior to handing them over to the ground staff in Doha.
Business Class passengers on U.S.-bound flights will be able to use one of Qatar Airways’ loaner PC laptops to ensure productivity in flight. Laptops will be provided to these customers once on board. Business Class passengers will enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi on U.S.-bound flights. Economy Class passengers can make use of one free hour of Wi-Fi and will then pay a minimal fee of $5 to stay connected for the remaining duration of the flight.
All passengers can take the opportunity to enjoy Oryx One, Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment system offering up to 3,000 entertainment options including the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and more.
The new laptop loan service and electronics handling service are complimentary and aim to ease any disruption to our passengers, ensuring a productive and seamless journey. In addition, extra staff has been deployed at Hamad International Airport to ease and assist passengers with these services. These above changes are a result of the new U.S. Government-issued regulation which prohibits passengers traveling to the U.S. from (originating in) and through (transferring in) Doha from carrying any electronic devices on board the flight that are larger than a cellular/smart phone. This applies to devices larger than 6.3 inches x 3.7 inches x 0.6 inches (16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm) and includes: laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, electronic game units, electronically-powered headsets, and travel printers/scanners. Where possible, passengers are encouraged to pack their electronic devices in their checked luggage.
Please note: Necessary medical devices, spare lithium batteries and power banks are exempt from these restrictions. Spare lithium batteries and power banks are actually not allowed to be packed in checked baggage and thus must be carried on board in carry-on luggage.
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