Abu Dhabi National airline, Etihad Airways, has moved to reassure passengers of its efforts to minimize disruption following the introduction of a new US travel directive on electronic devices. As of 25th March 2017, passengers on all US-bound flights from, or transiting through, Abu Dhabi International Airport will not be permitted to carry electronic devices bigger than a smart phone or mobile into the aircraft cabin.
Items such as laptop computers, tablets including iPads, gaming devices, cameras and e-readers will be required to be placed in checked-in luggage. Medical devices are however exempted from the new directive and can be carried on-board.
(TOP: Passengers using their electronic devices on an airborne plane. Photo: IBTimes).
Etihad Airways is sending email alerts to all US-bound travellers advising of the new directive. Signage is being placed at check-in desks at airports around the world where staff will inform guests to pack any prohibited electronic devices in their checked luggage.
US-bound passengers travelling via Abu Dhabi must check-in their electronic devices at the point of origin. The directive, issued by the US Transportation Security Administration, does not affect flights departing from the United States.
All Etihad Airways’ US flights are equipped with mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity, together with power and USB points at every seat enabling guests to remain connected through their mobiles and smart phones. And with an on-board inflight entertainment system offering hundreds of hours of free programmes, international movies, live TV news and sports channels, interactive games, and music in every seat, guests are able to keep themselves busy throughout their journey without the need of a laptop or tablet.
To avoid inconvenience, guests are encouraged to pack the prohibited items in their checked baggage. Any prohibited electronic devices will have to be declared and placed in padded envelopes before being securely taken to the aircraft luggage hold by staff. Such items will be returned to guests on arrival in the US, while conveniently, other items of checked-in luggage can be collected at the final destination in the United States.
Guests are also encouraged to avoid carrying spare battery packs larger than the permitted size as these will not be allowed in either the luggage hold or the cabin.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways CEO said: “We remain committed to ensuring we provide guests the highest levels of service and quality experience that we are renowned for, at Abu Dhabi International Airport and throughout their journey to minimise the impact of the new measures.
While Abu Dhabi International Airport is not listed for a similar ban related to direct flights operating to the United Kingdom, enhanced security screening is likely for guests travelling to London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Etihad Airways operates 45 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and six cities across the United States – namely New York, Washington, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to, or has announced plans to serve, more than 110 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.