Electronic Devices Strictly Prohibited To and From the United States Aboard Royal Jordanian Airlines

E lectronic devices strictly prohibited to and from the United States — with the exception of mobile telephones and essential medical devices — will be effective as of tomorrow, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, according to the official Twitter account of Royal Jordanian Airlines.

This means that customers who have already purchased tickets for affected flights are left with few options with this sudden new policy — which was announced with little advance warning; and in some cases, fewer than 24 hours notice — and whether or not cancellations, refunds or itinerary changes will be permitted without fees on restrictive tickets is unknown at this time.

Text of the “Tweet”

https://twitter.com/RoyalJordanian/status/843860881947725825

Here is the complete text of the “tweet” to be preserved in case it is eventually deleted for whatever reason:

Following instructions from the concerned US departments, we kindly inform our dearest passengers departing to and arriving from the United States that carrying any electronic or electrical device on board the flight cabins is strictly prohibited.

Cellular phones and medical devices needed during the flight are excluded from the ban.

Prohibited devices, including for instance laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic games… etc, can be carried in the checked baggage only.

This announcement is effective starting with March 21, 2017, and the instructions will be applied on the New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal flights, the last two destinations served by a combined flight.

Thank you for your understanding. We wish you pleasant flights on board RJ.

Summary

There is no definitive reason revealed at this time as to what can be considered dramatic measures — or, perhaps, a political statement — but I personally refuse to fly as a passenger on an airline which will not allow me to use portable electronic devices while aboard one of their airplanes on a transatlantic long-haul flight…

…and I certainly would not place laptop computers or other valuable equipment in checked luggage, as there is a good possibility of it being damaged or stolen. In fact, I rarely check bags at all whenever I travel. Does this mean that every passenger who carries portable electronic devices when he or she travels must now check baggage in order to continue to carry them on flights operated by Royal Jordanian Airlines?

No thanks to any of that. I intend to avoid patronizing any airline which implements such a draconian policy — which is worse than the restrictive liquid policy in some respects, in my opinion — regardless of the reason…

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

5 thoughts on “Electronic Devices Strictly Prohibited To and From the United States Aboard Royal Jordanian Airlines”

  1. JEM says:

    You seem to assume that this is a unilateral decision by the airline. I can’t imagine they would do so without significant pressure from the US. Since the ban doesn’t start until tomorrow, it would not surprise me if RJ jumped the gun on the announcement and it is actually extended to all carriers to the US, at least from specific regions, depending on US evaluation of that region’s screening capability. Or I could be completely wrong, and RJ intends to commit virtual suicide.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I pointed out in the article that the reason might be “a political statement”, JEM — but I purposely did not mention by whom simply because I did not know for certain.

      The United States may very well be the cause of this policy; but I — and you — must do what we need to do which is best for us pertaining to travel; and flying aboard an airplane without a portable electronic device on which I can work is not acceptable to me.

      That is regardless of blame and responsibility for this policy…

  2. BDB says:

    “Following instructions from the concerned US departments…”

    Seems like that is probably referencing a department within the US Gov’t–State? DHS? CBP?

    I would think it’s not the airline choosing this restriction–that seems pretty restrictive to place on customers with no notice and with no explanation…

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I agree, BDB — but whether or not the airline chose to implement this policy does not improve the situation for passengers traveling to or from the United States.

      As long as there are viable alternatives, I intend to avoid flying as a passenger on this airline for as long as this highly restrictive policy is in effect. This decision is not out of anger or spite. It is simply what is best for me.

      Now, if there were no viable alternatives, that introduces a whole new set of problems…

  3. TOM says:

    This affects over a dozen Middle Eastern and African airlines to 4 US destinations (New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal) for 4 days. It’s odd that only those airlines are affected and only to 4 cities on the next 4 days. Very troubling in terms of very little formal information and its sudden roll-out.

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