Emirates Airline changes crew on US flights to comply with visa ban
It’s not just passengers who are trying to visit the US who are facing problems with Trump’s new visa ban, airline crew are also affected. According to Reuters, Emirates airline has changed the roster for pilots and flight attendants in light of the travel ban placed on people from seven MENA countries.
An Emirates spokesperson told Reuters in an email that they have implemented "the necessary adjustments to our crewing, to comply with the latest requirements." This means that all of their US flights are continuing on schedule.
President Trump has signed an executive order to ban visas for citizens of seven MENA (Middle East and Africa) countries. More than 130 million people from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen will be banned from entering the United States for the next 90 days, and that includes airline staff.
The airline implemented changes straight away, so none of their staff were caught up in any difficulty brought on by the travel restrictions. Known for having an extremely diverse crew, with over 23,000 flight attendants and 4,000 pilots from all over the world, including the US, Europe and the Middle East, they have plenty of people who can step in and cover shifts.
Etihad have not commented on how the visa ban has affected crew, however they have said that US flights are running as scheduled.
Many people are choosing to fly to the US from Abu Dhabi rather than Dubai, as Abu Dhabi Airport introduced US pre-clearance three years ago. This means that US immigration desks are now stationed at the airport, so after clearing UAE customs, you then pass through US customs. Once you clear that, you land at a domestic terminal in the US, and walk straight out – without having to be quizzed by US immigration officials.
Of course, if you are originally from one of the seven countries banned by Donald Trump, then you probably still won’t be able to travel. But you will find this out in Abu Dhabi, rather than at the end of a 17 hour flight to Los Angeles – and then having to come back.
Many visitors have contacted Shortlist to praise the US immigration desks as Abu Dhabi Airport as being far ‘friendlier.’ Given the confusion over exactly who is affected by the Trump ban, this is the best route to take in order to be absolutely certain. The moment you clear US customs in Abu Dhabi, your passport is stamped and you are effectively in the US.