Passengers Pulled Off Delta Flight Because Of Their Cell Phone’s Name

When you board a plane and the door closes you should turn off your wireless transmitting devices (use airplane mode). If you’re not going to do that, though, the bare minimum requirement is not to name your network “ISIS” or “al Qaeda sleeper cell.”

Several years ago when Samsung Galaxy Note 7s were catching fire – and banned from planes – someone named their network ‘Samung Galaxy Note 7’ and when a passenger complained the pilot threatened to divert their redeye flight unless the responsible passenger identified themselves.

A couple of years back a Turkish Airlines flight actually did divert – to Khartoum, Sudan of all places – when a passenger was broadcasting ‘bomb on board’ as their network name. It turned out that there was no bomb on board.

Now two passengers from Quebec were removed from a Delta regional flight in Detroit over their network name, “remote detonator.”

The flight was already running behind from its about 8:10 p.m. departure time when flight attendants began repeatedly asking for passengers to turn off their personal WiFi, said Aaron Greenberg, 47, of Seattle who was taking the flight on his way to a work meeting in Montreal.

Then flight attendants announced that they’d be calling police if personal WiFi wasn’t turned off, Greenberg said.

It was a nerve-racking moment when an estimated 10 emergency vehicles with flashing lights surrounded the plane, he said.

Passengers were kept on board the regional jet for more than three hours over the incident. People still haven’t learned, it seems, that actual NSA surveillance vans don’t have network names like “NSA Surveillance Van #15” and when Ayman al-Zawahiri holds his annual conference at the Ninawa International Hotel in Mosul, the meeting room network names aren’t actually “Al Qaeda Planning Conference 2020.”

It’s also a bad idea to snapchat from a plane that you’re a terrorist with womens’ hearts or to accidentally fill out a U.S. immigration ESTA form checking the box that you have previously engaged in terrorist activities.

Police of course say they removed the passengers “out of abundance of caution” though they were ultimately released.

(HT: Paul H.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. People are stupid and think certain things are funny (like joking about a bomb in the airport security line).

    I can recall back during the Anthrax scare someone at work thought it would be funny to put a white powder on someone’s desk. Uh, it wasn’t.

    This was more unlucky than anything but a guy at one facility was a contractor and had a company who’s acronym (or maybe name) was ISIS and it was his license plate. That caused a lot of attention once ISIS because known.

  2. As it should be. It’s the 21st century equivalent of shouting “Fire!” in a theater. False, dangerous speech is not protected speech.

  3. @Tony

    9 judges 70, 80 years ago felt that way but if on a jury I sure would vote not guilty as too many people use the above as a pretext to infringe on other speech. Free speech is so important that any restriction will of course be abused by those in power so I rather have no restriction than enable what we know is inevitable if the government is given a pretext or precedent. I would vote my conscience in a jury and not follow the subjective views of others who don’t share the same worldview or ideological perspective. If @Jason is on a jury he can be #2 and so on.

  4. I’d like to do surveys aboard planes. My question is ‘What is your ticket source and price paid?’
    People don’t have to answer, but would the airline frown or not allow people to know the best sites?
    The programming/planning of pricing fluctuates by supply&demand.
    Much like automobile pricing!

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