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“Al-Quida” Wi-fi Hotspot Grounds American Flight


An American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to London was delayed for several hours on Sunday after a passenger discovered a Wi-Fi network named “Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork.”

Choosing a name for a personal Wi-Fi hotspot can afford travelers an opportunity to anonymously put their creativity on public display, but sometimes that creativity can border on the rude or obscene. The hotspot name an American Airlines passenger noticed at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) shortly before takeoff created a security issue that delayed the flight for more than four hours.

Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC reported that a Sunday evening American flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to London was held at a remote section of LAX for several hours while authorities investigated reports of about a Wi-Fi hotspot named “Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork.” A passenger on the flight became concerned about the poorly chosen hotspot name and alerted the cabin crew.

Passengers were initially told the delay was due to mechanical issues, but were specifically instructed to turn off their electronic devices. “After an hour, [the captain] said there was a security threat and that we didn’t have clearance to take off,” Elliot Del Pra, a passenger on the American flight, told KABC.

More than four hours after leaving the gate, the plane was allowed to return to the terminal, but the plane’s departure was delayed until 1 p.m. on Monday.

“After further investigation, it was determined that no crime was committed and no further action will be taken,” LAX told KABC on Monday.

This wasn’t the first time a passenger attempting to be clever with the name of a personal Wi-Fi hotspot has triggered a security incident. Last month, UPI reported that a man was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight and detained at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) after labeling his hotspot as “Bomb on Board” and “Bomb Location 19E.”

[Photo: KABC]

Comments are Closed.
Chatokay November 10, 2014

@janetdoe. You're aware, I hope, that the real idiot is the one setting this Wi-Fi ? Nothing would have happened otherwise. And given how it is well know that such stupidity will trigger action, it is very likely that it was done in purpose. The passenger who reported it, the FA, the pilot etc should be praised for taking it seriously.

crayon October 29, 2014

overdahill: If people (including you) didn't give up on using their brains, such pranks wouldn't be costly. It's this stupidity that makes it costly.

paulwuk October 28, 2014

overdahill - Absolutely the airline should be fined, heavily, for such ridiculous behaviour. I'm not sure AA is owned by an "individual' though, so not sure who would be bankrupt - the pilot?

overdahill October 28, 2014

I must be totally nuts. These type of incidents, in my opinion, if not criminal, certainly should trigger damages for the cost of the delay to the airline, passengers and airport. In other words, at least this should bankrupt the individual. With such damages, others may think twice about playing such costly pranks. The punishment should fit the crime. Sounds like yelling fire in a crowded theater to me.

janetdoe October 28, 2014

Because if Al-Qaeda were targeting a plane, they would be sure to hide their intent by cleverly misspelling their name as, "Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork". Idiots. Every single one of the people who had any role in deciding to delay or postpone the flight is a completely paranoid idiot. The passenger who chose to report the hotspot name instead of laughing is an idiot. The flight attendant who chose to report the customer complaint is an idiot. The pilot is an idiot for taking any of it seriously. Al-Qaeda already won their war against America, and this is the proof. Idiots quaking in their boots at a parody wifi hotspot.