We love a good tale of passengers behaving badly here at Simple Flying, but today’s story is perhaps one of the weirdest we’ve come across. We’ve heard about passengers being removed for being allergic to dogs, for refusing to switch seats and even for making a joke about vodka (FYI, vodka is no laughing matter, especially two-thirds of the way through dry January).
But today, I bring you a tale of two passengers removed from a flight, deplaned by police no less, for what they named their WiFi hotspot. Here’s how it happened.
Due to depart at 20:10, the flight was already running a fair bit behind schedule when things started to kick off. First, the flight attendants began striding up and down the aisle asking passengers repeatedly to turn off their WiFi hotspots.
After a few minutes of this, apparently the target had failed to follow crew instructions and the WiFi hotspot was still turned on. Witnesses report the flight attendants then threatening to call the police if the personal connection was not immediately turned off.
Moments later, around 10 emergency vehicles surrounded the aircraft with lights flashing. One passenger, Aaron Greenberg, was on his way to a work meeting in Montreal when everything happened. He told Detroit Free Press,
“I, at first, thought there was someone really dangerous on the back of the plane, because the pilot said they were dealing with someone in the back. It was a nerve-racking moment when an estimated 10 emergency vehicles with flashing lights surrounded the plane.”
I’ve been sitting on @Delta flight now on the runway for 3 hours now. Bomb threat, 2 people taken off plane by police, FBI here now. We are safe but crazy. Put it all on my IG story at https://t.co/Hd3vioIZR3
— Aaron Greenberg 🙅🏼♂️❎ (@aarongreenberg) January 17, 2020
Police boarded the aircraft and stepped off the plane with two people. Shortly after, they returned with those two people and escorted another two people off the plane. Greenberg described them as being in their 30s, a man wearing shorts and a woman.
The deplaned passengers’ bags were also removed and the pair never returned to the aircraft. The flight finally took off at 01:40, over five hours late.
This is the wildest part. I would've been a bit nervous to have my phone out at all! pic.twitter.com/EbOncnfqLk
— Rob (@ReclaimerRob) January 17, 2020
What was the hotspot called?
So, the exact name of the hotspot has not been confirmed by the Wayne County Airport Authority who dealt with the situation. However, Mr Greenberg said that a flight attendant told him it was called,
I mean, if that isn’t the stupidest thing to call a hotspot in the history of stupid things. I’ve heard of people having a giggle with WiFi names, from the scary ‘FBI surveillance van #457’ to the amusing ‘Pretty fly for a WiFi’ and my own personal favorite, ‘Nacho WiFi’. But naming a hotspot for maximum fear provocation on board an aircraft is just plain stupid.
While the delay was annoying for the passengers no doubt, the handling of the situation was both sensible and necessary. Greenberg summed it up saying,
“It was definitely stressful, but I think they did a good job focusing on handling the situation.”
What do you think? Should the flight attendants have ignored the hotspot name and continued anyway? Or were they right to call in the police to handle the situation? Let us know in the comments.