Faced with the new US ban on electronic devices being taken into plane cabins airports and airlines are scrambling for ways to reassure passengers and prop up revenues.
Airports around the world affected by President Trump’s new ban on in-flight electronic devices are examining ways they can make life easier for travellers despite the new American rules.
Some, like Ataturk airport in Istanbul, are going so far as to demand exemptions, and Ankara wants Turkish airlines taken off the blacklist. The Turks point to already stiff security at the airport with recently upgraded double entry checks.
“Our efforts continue to exclude Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, which we are very proud of, from the ban. We continue to hold talks not only with the United States but also with Britain, which might execute a similar practice,” said foreign ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu.
Others are taking a different approach like Dubai, where every effort is being made to ensure travellers can use their gear until the very last minute before boarding, yet prevent any device entering the cabins.
“I hope we can get through this and that the government of the United States is content at some point to relax the ban because to be quite honest if this ban is specific to those countries that are mentioned and those airports, for the life of me I can not understand why this is wouldn’t be a global application,” said the President of Emirates airline Tim Clarke.
Royal Jordanian airlines have even issued a helpful and somewhat lighthearted leaflet giving passengers advice on things to do without their laptops and games consoles. One suggestion? Talk to the person next to you.
Places like Dubai have noted their duty-free sales, often involving big-ticket consumer electronics, could also be hit by the ban.