Royal Jordanian Airlines' snarky response to Trump's laptop ban

While Middle Eastern airlines grapple with carry-on bans for laptops on flights to the USA and Britain, one carrier is encouraging passengers to do the unthinkable: actually talk to each other.

The British restrictions do not include the United Arab Emirates or Qatar, but will affect Turkish Airlines and U.K. -based carriers including British Airways, EasyJet, and Monarch.

While acknowledging the effects of such ban on their businesses, some of the affected airlines tried to seize the disadvantage in highlighting their own entertainment systems, which can be a good replacement to using the banned devices on board of the flights. They were then to be handed back to passengers upon arrival.

Royal Jordanian Airlines, one of the airlines affected by the ban, appears not to be a big supporter of it - as evidenced by a recent trolling tweet. Other electronics, including laptops and tablets, will be indefinitely banned from the passenger cabin.

By attacking Gulf airlines and "hub" airports, the new ban also targets airports that are at "the core of [the airlines'] business models", The Washington Post suggests. "Travelling with children?" it said, addressing a common concern among parents anxious about keeping their children occupied on long flights. Royal Jordanian said on Twitter it has received the instructions from "the concerned United States departments".

But don't worry, because Royal Jordanian Airlines, cynically sensing a marketing opportunity, has come up with a list of 12 things travellers can do on a flight instead, now that they can't busy themselves with their laptops. Some in Turkey say the new restriction could undermine the Turkish aviation industry. The guardian reported that, European security experts will be meeting next week to discuss the electronics ban by both countries.

The electronics ban creates "unfair competition", said Turkey's Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan.

APEX has directly engaged key US and United Kingdom government officials on a solutions-oriented approach to make aircraft more secure and prevent the spread of the electronics ban. There could be concern about inadequate passenger screening or even conspiracies involving insiders - airport or airline employees - in some countries, he said.

Royal Jordanian has been using its Twitter account to both keep passengers informed as well as satirize the White House's move to limit and ban travel from various Muslim-majority countries.

  • Arturo Norris