Whichever way you view the new ban there is no denying the distinct difference in service between US carriers and those in the Gulf. For this traveler, with or without my laptop there is no way I would choose American over Etihad, United over Qatar, or Delta over Emirates. For me, flying coach on Etihad was only slightly different from flying first class on United and Delta. I am not exaggerating, the cramped seats that do not feature the lay flat position or any semblance of privacy combined with the lack meal choice i.e. those without pork left a lot to be desired from the first-class experience.