Emirates turns to Surface tablets for premium passengers in response to electronics ban

In response to a ban on passengers carrying personal electronics bigger than 6-inches on U.S.-bound flights from select countries, Emirates has announced it will offer to loan its First and Business class customers Surface tablets on select flights. The goal, Emirates says (opens in new tab), is to help passengers stay on top of any work they may need to do while still respecting the ban on personal electronic devices.

The Surface tablets on offer will come preloaded with Microsoft's Office 2016 suite, and Emirates encourages passengers to bring their own USB sticks on board to continue any work they may have to do.

The service is entirely complimentary, and it will be available on non-stop flights to the U.S. departing from Dubai. Unfortunately, if you're not in Business of First classes, then you're simply out of luck. Emirates does note that it has implemented a system for passengers to hold on to their personal laptops and tablets up until they board. Otherwise, you'll have to make do with the in-flight entertainment system.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Wow! Living in Dubai that's great news! It's like free advertising for Microsoft.
  • Awesome 🙆
  • Because of this ban, ppl from Dubai first go to India and then to the US.
  • Emirates is the best Airline!!
  • Nice move
  • I just took a 32 hour (to/fro) trip on #Emirates, days before the ban. Awesome.
  • Maybe they should just integrate the surface tablet as the in-flight entertainment system with wireless keyboards available.
  • You know, I've been thinking that for a while too. MSFT Shld have planes fitted with either surface tablets as their screens or windows 10 as the operating system on flights. Passengers will then have the option of login in with their MSFT accounts to have access to their (already owned) movies, series, music, games & documents. OR passengers can sign in as guest and use the movies & tv & groove app for preloaded content offered by the airline. Of course, if u choose to sign in u wld also have access to the airline's media content.
  • Would be a interesting idea 😀
  • Cross-marketing ideas! Partnership with the airline and other channels for cross-marketing. If MS can accept to host SG8 phones in-store just to get their apps/services on-board, they they can also negotiate co-branding opportunities with Emirates and others. Get the word out!
  • Are you guys in the UAE?
  • Maybe this would be a perfect use for Continuum? Plug your phone USB into the monitor and bring a foldable keyboard?
  • Great idea! They can include units of the dock and foldable keyboards on each seat's entertainment systems, to work with any Windows 10 Mobile phones flyers may have.
  • Stupid ban to start with. Whose idea was that?
  • That you-know-who, duh.
  • Does Samsung galaxy s8+ with 6.2" screen included in the ban? Good luck everyone.
  • That's a phone and they aren't banned.
  • Well, I hope so. How to distinguish a phone and a tablet these days though.
  • Lol yeah.... Think Note 7.
  • Or another option is to not fly with airlines that implement this ridiculous ban. What moron would put their $4K gaming laptop into checked baggage so it can get wrecked by the idiots that load the bags or stolen as often happens with expensive items in checked baggage. The airport thiefs must have had a party after they heard about this ban.  
  • It's not airlines my friend.
  • u r one of the idiot lol