Terrifying Wi-Fi Hotspot Name Delays Flight for Hours
A Qantas flight in Australia was delayed for two hours over a worrying Wi-Fi hotspot name.
The West Australian newspaper reported that a passenger on QF481 spotted a Wi-Fi hotspot entitled “Mobile Detonation Device.”
The passenger then spoke with a crew member about the hotspot.
However, it wasn’t clear what mobile device was linked to the name, or where the device was located.
Passenger John Vidler told the paper that the pilot informed passengers and crew that the flight could not depart unless the device was located.
“He said there was a device on the plane that had a name on it that he found threatening and that we were not leaving until that device was brought to him,” Vidler said.
Another passenger, who chose to remain anonymous, told Yahoo7 that the “pilot said a particular passenger had gone to log on and a hotspot name has come up with one which was a scare to Qantas and passengers.”
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“After half an hour no one came forward, the Wi-Fi covered a fair distance so could’ve been someone in the terminal,” the passenger added.
The plane was on the tarmac at 6:50 p.m. in Melbourne, but the plane eventually left for Perth, West Australia, at 9:55 p.m. local time. It landed safely in Perth at 11:15 p.m.
Some told Yahoo7 that it was probably “a prank” rather than a terror threat. “Some immature person, possibly in the terminal had a (hotspot) name that caused the actual scare,” he said.
“The pilot made us aware and said they were going to take proper security precautions,” the unnamed person said.
Qantas also alerted the Australian Federal Police.
Qantas gave passengers the option to book another plane with the airline. The passenger said that about half of those on board took the airline up on its offer.
“Myself and my partner kept flying as we were reassured by Qantas that they had done their part and that security measures had taken place,” he said.
A Qantas spokesperson confirmed with Mashable that the incident took place.
“A passenger raised a concern during boarding which was looked into by our crew and security team. They found no safety or security risk to the aircraft,” a Qantas spokesperson told Mashable Australia in an email.
“Some passengers elected not to travel so there was a delay as bags were taken off and those passengers dimsembarked,” the spokesperson added to Yahoo7, adding that the plane landed without incident in Perth.
According to the West Australian, one passenger was disturbed by the hotspot name:
Mr Vidler said he and about 40 other travellers felt so unsettled by the experience they demanded to be let off the flight.
That caused further delays as their luggage had to be unloaded.
Qantas said there had been no security risk to the plane, which landed safely in Perth about two hours behind schedule.