Making a Bomb Threat is Not a Good Strategy for Being Late for a Flight

by Anthony Losanno

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The past two weeks saw two cases of passengers making bomb threats when they were late for their flights. I’m not sure how they thought this was a good idea or would have gotten them flying any faster.

Las Vegas

Not Leaving Las Vegas

A JetBlue passenger was arrested last week after he missed his flight and called in a bomb threat. The man was supposed to fly on JetBlue flight 879 from Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). His bag was boarded, but the flight took off without him. Reports say that the man became irate and called the airline to say his bag contained a bomb. A captain with traffic services told news outlet KVVU:

At approximately 2:00 PM today, May 4th, a disgruntled passenger who missed his flight made a statement indicating that his luggage contained a possible bomb on the JetBlue flight number 879 from Las Vegas.”

The plane was already inflight to Los Angeles. It arrived without issue and was held in a penalty box while passengers were evacuated and luggage was inspected. No bomb was found and the man was cited with a misdemeanor for violation of airport rules. The penalty seems a bit lax here to me, but thankfully this was a false alarm.


Lost in Translation

Another incident allegedly occurred this week at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) when a passenger missed his flight to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Hossein Dehnavifard, 37, was charged with making terroristic threats and threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction following an incident on Wednesday, which prompted an evacuation in Pittsburgh.

Passengers on American Airlines flight 1862 were evacuated and a bomb-sniffing canine unit swept the plane. The B Concourse was partially locked down after Dehnavifard allegedly claimed there was a bomb in his checked luggage. He allegedly arrived late and was denied boarding. His defense attorney told news station WPXI:

I think things got lost in translation. He speaks with a heavy accent, so I think they possibly misunderstood what he was saying. I’m not trying to downgrade what happened, but there are always two sides to every story. His side has yet to be told.”

Again, no bomb was found and everyone is safe.

Anthony’s Take: There are a few words you should never say in an airport or on a plane and “bomb” tops that list. I’m not sure how either of these two individuals thought making a threat could lead to them getting on a flight. Thankfully, these were not real and there was no harm to any other passengers or employees.

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