This week, the Trump administration banned large electronics on nonstop U.S. flights from eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa (because if banning Muslims is unconstitutional, might as well ban their MacBooks instead? #TrumpLogic). Ever since, major airlines have been doing their darnedest to keep passengers' spirits high — literally, because the prospect of a 12-hour flight without a laptop has likely kept many grounded.
Royal Jordanian airlines, for one, has been brilliantly trolling Trump & Co. with amusing snide remarks in the form of Twitter poetry and fun tips for a laptop-less flight. And now Emirates has announced a sneaky sort of electronics concierge service that will let you use your laptop or tablet right up until you board. It's not much, but it's a hell of a lot better than checking that stuff, finding out your flight has been delayed, and sitting at the gate for hours trying to painstakingly type an "ASAP" work memo or presentation or article into your iPhone.
"Our aim is to ensure compliance with the new rules, while minimizing disruption to passenger flow and impact on customer experience. Our new complimentary service enables passengers, particularly those flying for business, to have the flexibility to use their devices until the last possible moment," said Emirates Airline president Sir Tim Clark in a statement. (Yep, this airline is run by a knight.)
"Perhaps the silver lining to this is that they can now justifiably give themselves a break from their devices, enjoy our onboard service and catch up on the latest movies, music, and TV box sets that we have on offer," Clark (Sir Tim?) added.
This is all well and good from an "unplug and chill out" standpoint, but it's likely throwing a wrench in the plans of many business travelers who usually treat that 12-hour flight like a very long (okay, who are we kidding, totally average-length) work day. And while we could all benefit from a digital detox, I know I'd prefer to spend my tech-free hours on, say, a grassy knoll in the sunshine with my pals — not on a polyurethane plane cushion sandwiched between total strangers.