The electronics ban for US-bound flights officially went into effect for many airlines yesterday, March 25, 2017. Over the past several days we’ve learned how airlines will be dealing with the ban, including Emirates, Etihad, and Turkish.
Based on their policies, Emirates and Turkish seem to be doing the best job, as they’re allowing passengers to check their electronics at the gate for their US-bound flights, in order to minimize the disruption. This way people don’t have to check their electronics at their point of origin, and can also use electronics at the airport before boarding starts.
So while the policies of Emirates and Turkish sound good in theory (well, at least as good as something like this is going to get), how did it work in practice at the airport?
Based on what I’ve seen online and heard from readers, it seems like this situation is being handled about as well as it can be, at least for Emirates and Turkish.
The way it seems to work is that US departure gates are partitioned off (this was already the case at many airports), and then each passenger undergoes an intensive screening when entering the gate area, including a pat down and a search of their belongings.
Some pictures have emerged of how this is being handled at gates. Below is a picture shared by a Twitter user of Emirates staff carefully packaging electronics.
— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) March 25, 2017
I’m impressed by Emirates’ system — each person’s belongings are packaged individually with bubble wrap. Then all the boxes are kept in the same area, and seem to be monitored carefully. I actually have some faith in the system here. It makes me feel better about the risk of damage or theft, though of course still doesn’t solve the issue of having to be separated from your electronics.
— صحيفة البيان (@AlBayanNews) March 25, 2017
Turkish also seems to have a pretty decent system in place. They have rolling cases with three compartments. The downside is that you don’t have the same private packaging as on Emirates. At the same time, the case itself looks sturdier than the ones Emirates use.
— starflyergold (@starflyergold) March 25, 2017
While this whole electronics ban isn’t ideal, I’m at least impressed by how some airlines are handling it. While I’ll certainly avoid airlines impacted by the ban due to the inconvenience of being separated from your electronics, I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable checking electronics with one of these airlines… at least not Emirates or Turkish.
What a logistical pain this must be for airlines to deal with.
Has anyone had firsthand experience with the electronics ban yet?