Laptop Ban Affects Dubai Passengers During Weekend

emirates airbus a380-800 at vienna airport

Laptop Ban Affects Dubai Passengers, pic: Emirates Airbus A380-800 at Vienna Airport

Laptop ban affects dubai passengers during weekend. Dubai International Airport and its Emirates airline began to implement a ban on laptops and tablets on direct flights to the United States on March 25, on one of the busiest weekends of the year.

About 1.1 million people are expected to pass through the world's busiest international airport as the city marks spring break in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai airports said.

An estimated 260,000 travelers are expected to pass through each day from Friday to Monday. Dubai International Airport expects 89 million passengers this year.

The United States announced a ban on all electronics larger than a standard smartphone on board direct flights from eight countries across the Middle East. US officials did not specify how long the ban would last, but Emirates told AFP it had been ordered to apply it until at least October 14.

The ban also covers all electronics sold in Dubai Duty Free, Dubai CEO Paul Griffiths told local radio earlier this week.

The Emirates government operates 18 daily flights to the United States outside Dubai.

In addition to the complication on March 25, several flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports were delayed due to thunderstorms, including a flight from Emirates to Houston.

Travelers using 10 airports throughout the Middle East and North Africa are subject to the ban, including Istanbul Atatürk International Airport and Qatar's Hamad International Airport.

And while the ban has provoked anger throughout the region by turning back to the majority Muslim countries, some increasingly cautious travelers resisted the last restriction.

It is a ruler. I follow the rules, "said Rakan Mohammed, a Qatari national who flies from Doha to the United States two or three times a year.

"The biggest problem for my family is not smoking. On a long flight, they become restless after three hours."

Britain has also announced a parallel ban, effective March 25, targeting all flights from Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Lebanon.

Abu Dhabi, home of the airline Etihad Airways, is one of the few international airports with a US Customs and Border Protection Service, which processes immigration and customs inspections prior to departure.

"When guests land in the United States, they arrive as domestic passengers without needing to queue for immigration checks again," a statement e-mailed to AFP.

The bans have been criticized for targeting Muslim majority countries. The United States' ban in particular has raised eyebrows to cover airports from which US airlines do not operate direct flights.

The United States and Britain have cited intelligence that passenger planes could be attacked with explosives planted in such devices.