On Monday a frustrated passenger on Thai Vietjet’s flight VZ305 from Phuket to Bangkok decided to unload some steam and muttered “I think this airline should be bombed” as the gate agent checked his boarding pass.
The gate agent reported being “frightened by the comment” and she had another employee inform airline management and airport security, who responded and arrested the passenger for violating Section 22 of Thailand’s Air Transport Act by “making a false remark which may cause panic.” For his part he just called it “a ‘slip of the tongue’ out of anger.”
Credit: Achadtaya Chuenniran
The movie Airplane! isn’t embedded in the culture of Thailand the way that it is in the United States (this isn’t really a ‘deleted scene’ despite what the person who uploaded it to YouTube says):
At the same time though, isn’t it obvious that someone who makes an off-handed remark about a bomb, or jokes about a bomb, without actually threatening one doesn’t have a bomb? An actually-deleted scene from Friends makes this very important point.
Monica and Chandler headed off on their honeymoon in the episode where Rachel told Ross she’s pregnant. But since it was scheduled to air shortly after 9/11, they didn’t show the part at airport security where Chandler makes a joke about a bomb and winds up in questioning.
I was just making a joke. I know the sign says no jokes about bombs, but shouldn’t the sign really say “no bombs.” I mean isn’t that the guy we really have to worry about here, the guy with the bombs? Not the guy who jokes about his bombs, not that I have bombs, because if I did I probably wouldn’t joke about about them. I’d probably want to keep that rather quiet.
Of course it’s not just ‘bomb’ or ‘hi, jack’ that may get you in trouble. In 1972 George Carlin first listed 7 dirty words, the words you can never say on television. But there are a lot more words you cannot say in an airport or on a plane without risk.
Even naming your wifi hotspot ‘Samsung Galaxy Note 7″ or ‘bomb on board’ can get you in trouble. Even someone saying ‘bomba’ on a United flight got passengers deplaned in 2018. Snapchatting a friend that you’re a ‘terrorist with womens’ hearts can be enough to cause trouble, if your seat opponent can see your screen.