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Passenger’s Ugly Wifi Hotspot Monicker Causes Pilot to Ground Flight

When a thoughtlessly chosen name indicating a terrorist threat was displayed on passengers’ mobile devices as an open wifi network, the captain decided that it wasn’t worth the risk to take off.

A passenger boarding a Thomson Airways flight from Cancún International Airport (CUN) to London Gatwick Airport (LGW) noticed something disturbing on his phone – one of the available nearby wifi networks was listed as “Jihadist Cell London 1.” The concerned flyer alerted crew members, who in turn eventually notified airport authorities. When the poorly chosen network name couldn’t be traced back to any specific passenger, the captain of the plane refused to fly.

In all likelihood, the name chosen as the unknown culprit’s personal wifi network was a joke made in very poor taste rather than an imminent threat. An actual jihadist cell would be putting themselves at a substantially greater risk of detection if they were to ill-advisedly name their network “Jihadist Cell London 1” or any variation thereof.

The captain of the flight, however, wasn’t prepared to take any chances. The eyewitnesses say the pilot pleaded to no avail for the apparent prankster to fess up so that the plane could depart.

“Someone has managed to do this on a hot point and it is a security issue and I’m sure you’ll understand I’m not prepared to depart with something like this on the aircraft,” the pilot said in a recording of a cabin announcement obtained by The Sun. “The first thing I’m going to say is that if someone on this plane has that on their phone for a laugh, it would be very advantageous to you to come forward and talk to one of the cabin crew and you could save yourself a lot of time.”

Passengers say that the flight was cancelled when no-one came forward after more than an hour at the gate. The travelers on board spent an extra night in Mexico before heading back to London on a flight which departed the following morning – this time there was no sign of an offensive choice in wifi networks.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
KRSW May 27, 2017

This just shows how little the industry knows about actual security. NO terrorist cell is going to announce their presence. The industry and government officials are now afraid of words. They need to just shut down air travel entirely since they're offended so easily these days. After all, travel might expose you to different cultures and languages you might not understand or be offended by.

krlcomm May 27, 2017

But the pilot would have departed w/ a hot spot named "FBI Surveillance Van 2" or something like that? Because a real terrorist would name their hot spot something like that??

AlastairGordon May 27, 2017

If I noticed that kind of wifi name on board a plane, no way would I ever tell a crewmember. Obviously it is a poor joke and I don't want it to stop the plane taking off on time.

The_Bouncer May 26, 2017

What a prat.

Guy Betsy May 26, 2017

This is ridiculous... there are so many names one can name and basically you know its a joke. I mean who in their right mind would actually announce to the world who they are? They might as well as name their wifi hotspot : عيد ميلاد سعيد (which basically means Happy Birthday)