Post Laptop Ban, Emirates Woos Business Travelers With Unlimited WiFi Deals

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In an effort to woo back passengers after a dip in traffic following the laptop ban on its US-bound flights, Dubai carrier Emirates has expanded its free in-flight WiFi service with improved rates for all flying classes.

Emirates Skywards Platinum and Gold members can now enjoy free unlimited WiFi during their flight, regardless of their class of travel, the Dubai-based airline said in a statement.

This also applies to all Emirates Skywards members traveling in First and Business class.

Economy class customers and non-Skywards members can now enjoy 20MB of free data usage within the first two hours of login, double the current 10MB free being offered.

Additional data can be purchased in 150MB or 500MB blocks at attractive rates, with tiered discounts for Skywards Silver and Blue members, the airline said.

WiFi services are available on over 200 of Emirates’ aircraft.

This free WiFi deal is further complemented by the WiFi service available at Emirates’ hub of Dubai International Airport (DXB), which has been ranked first for the fastest service in the world, according to a report by Seattle-based internet testing and analysis firm Ookla.

In March, Dubai Airports said it upgraded its free WiFi speed to 100mpbs, making it the fastest free internet speed offered in any airport in the world.

In its latest speed test report, Ookla confirmed the Dubai Airports’ claim.

The airport has the fastest WiFi seen at any airport in Asia, Europe or Africa during the March to May period, with average upload speed being even faster than its download speed, Ookla said.

Average download speed reached 39.50 Mbps, while average upload speed touched 46.27 Mbps, it said.

The ban nightmare is over

The services are being seen as an effort to win back passengers that would have shifted loyalties to other airlines following the US’ laptop ban.

In March, the US government temporarily banned passengers on certain flights originating in eight countries in the MENA region from bringing electronic items.

The restrictions applied to any device larger than a mobile phone such as a laptops, tablets, iPads, cameras and portable DVD players. However, mobile phones and medical devices were excluded from the ban.

Almost all airlines from the Middle East, including Emirates, reported a dip in passenger traffic following the laptop ban.

This last week, the US lifted the in-cabin ban on US-bound flights from Dubai and Istanbul by Emirates and Turkish Airlines, followed by Qatar Airways flights from Doha.

The move came three days after restrictions were lifted on Etihad Airways’ hub Abu Dhabi International Airport