Emirates is handing out free tablets on flights to get round electronics ban

Rob Waugh

One airline has come up with an ingenious way round the ban on electronic devices which the Britain and the U.S. have instituted on flights from Middle Eastern countries.

Passengers on Emirates will be offered complimentary Microsoft Surface tablets for the duration of affected flights – and will be able to plug in USB drives with personal files.

All flights from Dubai to America will offer the service.

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More than two million passengers per year are affected by the ban – which applies to airlines including British Airways, Thomson, Thomas Cook and Easyjet

Passengers are prevented from taking any devices larger than a mobile phone into the cabin – reportedly in response to intelligence about terrorist threats.

Anyone flying from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia has to put devices into the hold.

Qatar Airways introduced a similar service with laptops available to customers on some flights.