Qatar Airways has found the best way around the laptop cabin ban so far: It's loaning laptops out to passengers

Rebecca Smith
No laptop? No problem
No laptop? No problem (Source: Getty)

Last week Emirates announced it would be rolling out a laptop handling service to minimise disruption for passengers affected by the laptop ban.

And now, Qatar Airways has unveiled its plans to play down the impact of the ban in quite possibly the handiest way so far.

Read more: Emirates has found a way to minimise disruption caused by the laptop ban

It is offering passengers a laptop loan service, that will be available to Business Class passengers travelling on all US-bound flights from next week and can be collected after boarding.

Customers will be able to download their work onto a USB before stepping on board to pick up where they left-off.

The airline is also offering a service at the gate for all passengers, whereby any electronic items prohibited by the new ban will be collected and securely packaged. These will be tagged, loaded as check-in baggage and returned safely to the customer on arrival to the US.

The changes are in response to the US government's ban on large electronic devices in the cabin on non-stop flights to the US from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa. The UK government followed suit with a similar ban last week.

Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said:

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.

By providing this laptop loan service we can ensure that our passengers on flights to the US can continue to work whilst on-board.

Airlines have been racking their brains attempting to sort out how best to minimise disruption caused by the ban, with Etihad Airways saying it will offer free Wi-Fi and tablet computers to first and business class passengers on US-bound flights.

The ban has caused some controversy. Earlier this week the boss of industry body the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that the laptop cabin ban won't be effective as a security measure.

IATA chief executive Alexandre de Juniac also said the ban will create "commercial distortions".

"We call on governments to work with the industry to find a way to keep flying secure without separating passengers from their personal electronics," he added.

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