Electronics Ban to the USA reversed on Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Electronics allowed again on Etihad flights
You would have to have been living under a rock or backpacking in some remote parts of the world to escape the news that the US banned passengers from bringing onboard small portable electronic devices on flights departing from several countries in the Middle East to the US.
This affected portable devices such as laptops and mobile phones that are nowadays all too ubiquitous and part of the travel scene whether it be using for important work emails or sharing photos with friends and family or finding travel information or reading about your next destination.
The United States banned these devices in March on flights to the United States originating at 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East to address concerns that explosive devices could be concealed in electronic devices taken onboard aircraft.
Etihad Airways today announced that with immediate affect all passengers may now carry portable electronic devices for flights departing from Abu Dhabi to the US.
This applies to portable devices such as phones, laptops, and tablets.
Since laptops are widely used onboard flights by business class passengers the revenue implications to the Middle Eastern Carriers were profound as this would casue some passengers to re-reroute, use other carriers or change travel plans.
We see this as a step in the right direction taking onboard security concerns but also allowing for convenience of no longer having to check items at the gate or handover to the airline with the implications that has.
Etihad is unique among gulf carriers as it has a US Immigration pre-clearance facility allowing passengers to clear US immigration and customs before reaching the US, so passengers are subject to US standard security checks and presumably the reason behind the change of policy for Etihad flights departing Abu Dhabi for the US.
This will lift the restrictions and make it way more palatable for Australian customers to once again travel to the US via Etihad and take advantage of their excellent Business and First Class Services including Etihad Apartments which we have reviewed in depth.
For further details see the official announcement from Etihad Airways reversing the electronics ban to the USA