Etihad Airways is trying to combat the electronics ban on its US bound flights and is now offering complimentary WiFi and iPads to business and first class passengers on those flights.
US bound passengers from select cities are required to check in their electronics (mobile phones excluded) and Emirates allows this to be done at the gate. Etihad allows this to be done before US immigration in Abu Dhabi.
You can access Etihad’s page for the electronics ban here.
The WiFi on Etihad actually works well (used it two weeks ago last time) and even allows decent streaming. The usual per flight (or possibly 24 hour) price is $21.95.
This electronics ban will affect flights to the US. I would assume that most business travelers will book away from destinations that require electronics to be checked in and use other gateways where it is not required.
Abu Dhabi has US preclearance (passengers arrive as domestic in the US). One would think that this would have been enough to ensure that passengers and their luggage are properly screened?
Etihad must have purchased a large number of iPads (guess that they received a nice discount considering that the new model is about to come out).