Abu Dhabi, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Etihad Airways is reassuring passengers of its highest level of service to minimise disruption following the introduction of a new US travel directive on electronic devices.
Effective March 25, passengers on all
US-bound flights from, or transiting through, Abu Dhabi International Airport
will not be permitted to carry electronic devices bigger than a smart phone or
mobile into the aircraft cabin.
Items such as laptop computers, tablets
including iPads, gaming devices, cameras and e-readers will be required to be
placed in checked-in luggage. Medical devices are exempt and can be carried onboard.
All Etihad Airways’ US flights have
mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity, together with power and USB points at every seat
enabling guests to remain connected through their mobiles and smart phones. And
with an onboard inflight entertainment system offering hundreds of hours of
free programmes, international movies, live TV news and sports channels,
interactive games, and music in every seat, guests are able to keep themselves
busy throughout their journey without the need of a laptop or tablet.
Etihad Airways is sending email alerts
to all US-bound travellers advising of the new directive. Signage is being
placed at check-in desks at airports around the world where staff will inform
guests to pack any prohibited electronic devices in their checked luggage.
US-bound passengers travelling via Abu
Dhabi must check-in their electronic devices at the point of origin. The
directive, issued by the US Transportation Security Administration, does not
affect flights departing from the United States.
At Abu Dhabi International
Airport, all Etihad Airways guests travelling to the United States clear US
Immigration and Customs at the US Preclearance facility in Terminal 3 – the
only one of its kind in the Middle East. When guests land in the US, they arrive as domestic passengers with
no requirement to queue for immigration checks again. Due to the additional
security measures, Etihad Airways will deploy more staff at the US Preclearance
facility to provide assistance.
To avoid inconvenience,
guests are encouraged to pack the prohibited items in their checked baggage
prior to reaching the
Preclearance facility in Abu Dhabi. Any prohibited
electronic devices will have to be declared and placed in padded envelopes
before being securely taken to the aircraft luggage hold by staff. Such items will be returned to guests on
arrival in the US, while conveniently, other items of checked-in luggage can be collected at the final destination in
the United States.
Guests are also encouraged to avoid carrying spare battery packs larger than the permitted size
as these will not be allowed in either the luggage hold or the cabin.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief
Executive Officer, said: “We remain committed to ensuring we provide guests the
highest levels of service and quality experience that we are renowned for, at
Abu Dhabi International Airport and throughout their journey to minimise the
impact of the new measures.
“Etihad Airways offers excellent
facilities on the ground at Abu Dhabi International Airport and inflight to
keep guests entertained during their journey. While we are communicating the
new directive to guests before they begin their travels to the US, we are
implementing a number of measures at Abu Dhabi International Airport to ease
the process. We continue to work with the relevant authorities and advise
guests to comply with the directive to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted
journey to the United States.”
In addition to the
onboard offering, all cabins have a selection of digital lifestyle magazines
that can be viewed for free on a smartphone via the Wi-Fly homepage. A variety
of printed international magazines and newspapers are also available for guests
travelling in the premium cabins.
receive a kid’s pack with games and toys, and there is a Flying Nanny on board
to assist parents.
At Abu Dhabi International Airport,
passengers have access to free Wi-Fi. Guests travelling in the premium cabins
can use Etihad Airways’ lounges. For those with sufficient time before
departure, guests can pay for access to Etihad’s Business Class lounge in
Terminals 1 and 3 which offer computer terminals, Wi-Fi, business facilities,
and a wide selection of newspapers, business and lifestyle magazines,
international cuisine, shower rooms and children’s play rooms.
First and Business Class guests are also
able to use the US Premium Lounge located after the US Immigration checks at
Guests are able to purchase
extra baggage allowance at a discount on airport rates by booking online at etihad.com;
through an Etihad Airways reservation office; or via a call centre. In
addition, Silver, Gold and Platinum members of Etihad Guest, the airline’s
loyalty programme, are entitled to extra free baggage allowance.
While Abu Dhabi
International Airport is not listed for a similar ban related to direct flights
operating to the United Kingdom, enhanced security screening is likely for
guests travelling to London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Etihad Airways operates 45 flights a
week between Abu Dhabi and six cities across the United States – namely New
York, Washington, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
any further updates on the new directive and our policies, guests are advised
to check Etihad Airways’ website at etihad.com