Toronto - With the in-flight electronics ban taking effect Saturday, the Arab airlines affected decided to fight back with humour against the widely-disputed US and UK ban.
Toronto – With the in-flight electronics ban taking effect Saturday, the Arab airlines affected decided to fight back with humour against the widely-disputed US and UK ban.
The US ban came first and affects 9 Arab countries, including Morocco, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The UK ban, which followed within 24 hours of the American one, covers six countries; Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia Egypt and Tunisia.
The focus of the ban are large electronic devices such as laptops and tablets, e-readers and game players. Certain printers and cameras are also affected. These can no longer be taken into the cabin but must remain with the checked baggage on direct flights to the US.
Though both the US and UK insist that the bans are for reasons of security, critics widely agree there is a much more economic intent behind the moves. US airlines have long complained about what they see as “unfair subsidies” provided to certain Arab carriers by their home governments. Many see the ban as a purely business move to force travelers to choose US carriers, who have not been affected by the bans.
With little alternative but to comply, Arab Airlines have responded with humour, poking fun at the situation while giving themselves a marketing boost. Royal Jordanian led the way with a list of 12 Things To Do on a 12-Hour Flight With No Laptop or Tablet. Among other things, they suggest meditating or pretending your tray table is a keyboard, or perhaps contemplating the meaning of life.
The airline even posted a short poem to lighten the mood;
Every week a new ban
Travel to the US since you can
We are now poets because of you son
No one can ruin our in-flight fun
We have good trips for everyone
Not to be outdone, Royal Air Maroc (RAM) also poked fun at the irksome ban, spoofing a British World War II era slogan, Keep Calm & Carry On with “Keep Calm and Play Sudoku.”
Emirates countered the ban with a tongue-in-cheek “Who Needs Laptops and Tablets Anyway?” video and Saudi Arabia promoted their plug ‘n play service with their own video titled “No Laptop, No Problem.”
According to the reaction registering on social media, the humorous approach seems to be working. Twitter and Facebook are lighting up with praise for the entertaining campaigns, proof that sometimes it pays to just bow to the absurd.