The poet Langston Hughes said that humor is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it. That certainly seems to be the spirit behind the advertisements of Royal Jordanian.
A day before America went to the polls in 2016 to pick a new president, the Middle Eastern airline promoted flights to the US with an ad hinting at the likely travel ban ahead should Donald Trump get elected.
He did, of course—and now the US Department of Homeland Security is instituting a ban on in-flight laptops and tablets for passengers traveling to the US on 56 routes from the Middle East and North Africa.
In light of how attached people are to devices today, news of the electronics ban was met with dismay by many. Royal Jordanian, one of several airlines affected by the new rules, attempted a humorous response instead. For starters, it tweeted a list of 12 things passengers can do on a 12-hour flight with no electronic devices. (In the same humorous spirit as Royal Jordanian, Quartz offers 12 more suggestions here.)
The airline’s suggestions mainly ranged from the obvious (read a book, enjoy a light snack, say hello to your fellow passengers) to the cheeky (reclaim armrest territory, pretend your tray table is a laptop). But the last idea on the list struck a far more serious tone.
Indeed, it would hardly be funny at all to think of ”reasons why you don’t have a laptop or tablet with you.”
But it’s safe to say the airline still has a sense of humor. A few hours after tweeting its list, it tweeted this: