2 Delta Passengers Removed Over Phones’ Wifi Hotspot Name

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.

Delta WiFi hotspot name
Two Delta passengers were removed from the flight over the name of their hotspot. Photo: Delta

What happened?

Passengers had boarded a plane at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Thursday night last week. The flight was headed to Montreal and was being operated by GoJet on behalf of Delta Connection.

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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.

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delta connection
The flight was operated by GoJet on behalf of Delta Connection. Photo: Delta

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,

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“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.”

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.

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,

“Remote detonator”

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.

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JFP

The crew reacted properly. Those boeheads should be on the “no fly” list. And, sued by the Delta licensee for costs and a penalty. However, I also realize that no matter how hard you try, you can’t fix stupid…

Sunil

@JPF Agree

Andrejs

No terrorist in the world would be so indiscreet, so, of course, there could never have been any real threat to the aircraft and its passengers but I guess it must be a gratifying feeling to be able to penalize sheer stupidity!

imapangolin

While no actual thread might exist from the wifi – someone who would name their wifi thus cannot be trusted not to cause some other disruption.

Duj

Interesting to know how the spawning phone was narrowed to one of four parties…

Gerard Saint Louis

Absolutely they were right by removing the… potential.. whatever they were! “Remote detonator”? On a PLANE??! This made the subsequent actions by the authorities mandatory.

Chuck

Not sure if charges were filed, but irking the local Policía and the Federales is real, real stupid!!!

Zburătorul

Wait?!?!?!? They check for wireless networks on the plane?! What dictatorship does that?! Was it China?

Alexander More

If I were a fellow passenger I would find something like that distinctly unamusing. I hope the airline bans them for life and communicates full details to every other airline as well.

Gerry S

Stupid is as stupid does. Plane. Terror. Bombs. Phone shut-off. No problem.

Rinny

It was professional n proper!

Frank

Greenberg described them as being in their 30s, a man wearing shorts and a woman.

Thursday Jan 16 there was a low of -12 and a high of -1, in YUL.

Guy in shorts? He should be kicked off the flight just for that!!

John Akin

Monumental stupidity. An adolescent joke that screwed up everyone’s travel plans and unnecessarily cost who knows how much money to passengers, airlines, the airport, and government agencies. Have actuaries tally the cost and make that the fine levied against these nitwits; along with the jail term.

Trevor

Why is it now that passengers defy instructions. Failing to comply with aircrew instructions should be a ban for all aircraft for 5 years.

The cockpit should have some type of jamming device until in the air.

imapangolin

As an airline pilot I can tell you that the flight attendants made exactly the right call. I actually would NOT have asked the Pax to turn it off – I would have simply removed them.

Doc

Not in this day and age of crazy people

Mikey S

Are they going to claim their right to free speech?

Linda Cutler

Yes they were right. The stupidos were a danger to all by even naming the hotspot that. The flight attendants did the right thing

Mary E Harris

Yes they are right! Passengers phones can interfere with communication with the cockpit and the control tower which delays flights. Turn off your phone’s when asked and there’s no problem.

Mercedes Villaman

Yes, yeah!! Get those mother flowers off the plane, RAPIDO!!!

Mercedes Villaman

Yes, yeah!! Get those MotherFlowers off the plane, RAPIDO!!!

Chuck U. Farley

I think they did exactly what they were supposed to do. In the safe we live in one can not be to careful, and idiots like this makes travel difficult and uncomfortable for everybody else. I hope they get fined for making everyone else late.

Carla Harris

call the police. I fly regularly and whatever they tell me to do I do it I don’t want any problems and I expect the rest of the people should obey to I’ve seen to many problems in the past we don’t need any more thank you

Jerry

I hope that person has to pay the airline all the fees they incurred cause that is beyond stupid and that is why some peolle should not be ablr to leave their house let alone travel.

Mar Shammari

Better safe than sorry

Ricardo Charme

I totally agree with the flight attendant, she did the right thing to do. There are so many crazy people out there and a phone can be used to trigger a detonator.

Todd F Fisher

Jail time, terrorism threat.

Beauford Casebolt

What a bunch of ninnies scared of their own shadows. Unbelievable that people are more worried about this than the decay of American democracy

Jane

ABSOFU**INGSURD!!!!

Adam

How did they know which passengers phone it was? Or did the passenger have remote detonator written on their face as well?