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Airline’s cheeky reply to Trump ban on laptops in flights: Analyse life, reclaim armrest, meditate

Airlines from Muslim-majority countries have responded to the new US ban on large electronic devices with humour and guerrilla campaigns to plug their services.

world Updated: Mar 24, 2017 17:59 IST
Rezaul H Laskar
The US rules, which affect Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines, will impact hundreds of Indians who transit to the US via the countries on the American list.
The US rules, which affect Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines, will impact hundreds of Indians who transit to the US via the countries on the American list.(Reuters)

Airlines in Arab and Muslim-majority countries have responded with humour to the Trump administration’s new ban on electronic devices larger than a mobile phone, with some even using the restrictions to plug their services.

On Tuesday, the US department of homeland security announced passengers on flights from 10 airports in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates would be required to stow their laptops, tablets, Kindles, gaming devices, cameras and other large electronic devices in checked baggage.

The US rules, which affect Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines, will impact hundreds of Indians who transit to the US via the countries on the American list.

Britain followed up with similar restrictions for airports in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey and some have already questioned whether the new rules were the outcome of considerations other than security threats.

The affected airlines, however, have responded with wit and satire, with Royal Jordanian tweeting a cheeky poem that poked fun at President Donald Trump’s bans targeting Muslim-majority countries.

In South Asia, state-run Pakistan International Airlines – which wasn’t hit by the new US ban – tweeted that its passengers could continue to carry laptops and tablets on its flights to the US.

Royal Jordanian also came up with a funny list of a dozen things passengers could do on a 12-hour flight without laptops, tablets or e-book readers.

The airline followed its list with a tweet that suggested the passengers could just act like Jordanians and “stare at each other”.

Qatar Airways suggested that passengers shouldn’t bother about their missing electronic devices because of the numerous channels of in-flight entertainment it offers.

Emirates used an ad featuring Jennifer Anniston to promote its entertainment services.

Etihad Airways said in an ad it already had everything on board to get round the electronics ban.

And Turkish Airlines offered to make up for the ban with two billion minutes of entertainment on air.