Aviation

Qatar offers replacement laptops inflight

Hannah Edensor

Following the chaos of the electronics ban imposed on 10 airport cities and nine airlines all operating flights into the US, Qatar has issued a return serve.

From next week, the airline is introducing ‘Laptop Loan’, which will allow Business travellers en route to the US to collect and use a complimentary laptop for the duration of the flight.

Customers will be able to download their work on to a USB before stepping on board to pick up where they left-off.

Qatar Airways is also offering a special service at the gate for all passengers, whereby any electronic items prohibited by the new ban will be collected and securely packaged. These will be tagged, loaded as check-in baggage and returned safely to the customer on arrival to the US.

Emirates also recently introduced a similar service, allowing passengers to use their larger electronics right up until they board.

For those happy to work on their phones, Qatar is also providing one hour of free Wi-Fi for all passengers and a special Wi-Fi package of US$5 to stay connected for the duration of the whole flight.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said, “We truly appreciate the importance of being able to work on board our aircraft and that is why I have insisted on offering only the best possible solution for our customers.

“By providing this laptop loan service we can ensure that our passengers on flights to the US can continue to work whilst on-board.

“Whilst other airlines have relied on their existing on board offering to comfort passengers we have not rested until we could offer a true solution to our passengers.”

It’s a welcome solution for those who require large electronics such as tablets and laptops to work inflight, given some of the world’s biggest airlines like Qatar, Emirates and Etihad are among those affected.

There’s still the worry about whether or not electronics packed in checked-in baggage will be covered by travel insurance if they are damaged or stolen, however 1Cover Travel Insurance recently announced it will now cover any electronic devices transported in the cargo hold if they are there because the airline rules require them to be.

Richard Warburton, Chief Operating Officer at 1Cover Travel Insurance, said that, as a customer-focused business, it was the logical step for 1Cover to take.

“The most important thing for us as a market leader is to provide superior care and peace of mind to our customers. Often this means making amendments to our policies to stay in line with what’s happening in the world.

“We’re pleased to be the first Travel Insurance provider to take this positive action. Hopefully, this will set the precedence for other insurers, meaning more travellers can benefit.”

It comes as Qatar announces it will be resuming daily flights on its Adelaide to Doha route as of December 2 2017, after launching the route in May last year.

Performance on the route exceed the carrier’s expectations with both consumer demand and air freight, with South Australia exports – in particular the wine – tripling air freight operations.

Check out the flight schedule here:

  • Doha (DOH) to Adelaide (ADL) QR914 departs 21:10 arrives 17:45 (+1)
  • Adelaide (ADL) to Doha (DOH) QR915 departs 22:45 arrives 05:05 (+1)

Adam Radwanski, Senior Manager at Qatar Airways Australasia, said the return to daily flights on this route demonstrates the airline’s commitment to the South Australian market.

“Qatar Airways presence in Australia was very much strengthened in 2016 and Adelaide passengers have welcomed us with open arms since our inaugural flight in May 2016.

“We are delighted to be resuming daily flights on the Adelaide-Doha route this December, providing consumers more opportunities to enjoy our award-winning service onboard the state-of-the-art A350 aircraft,” said  Radwanski.

“Trade and air freight between Australia and the Middle East has significantly increased over the past year and we are proud to play a role in this exciting expansion for South Australian businesses. Not forgetting also bringing in tourists from around the world to explore Adelaide and its surrounding areas.”

 

In addition, Business Class passengers travelling onward to popular destinations such as London and Paris will soon have the chance to experience Qatar Airways’ revolutionary QSuite, featuring the industry’s firstever double bed available in Business Class.

In 2017, Qatar Airways will launch a myriad of new destinations including Dublin, Ireland; Las Vegas, USA; Rio de Janerio, Brazil and Santiago, Chile.

 

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