US security services grounded a London-bound flight in Los Angeles for 14 hours after a Wi-Fi hotspot named “Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork” aroused the suspicions of the police and cabin crew.
A passenger onboard the American Airlines flight alerted the cabin crew after finding the network and police were notified before the flight was taken to the gate with passengers made to remain on board for many hours.
The ensuing investigation found that no crime had been committed and the flight from Los Angeles to London was eventually rescheduled from Sunday to Monday at 10:00 local time, according to reports.
“After further investigation, it was determined that no crime was committed and no further action will be taken,” officials at LAX told ABC 7."Passengers were interviewed and cleared to continue with their travel plans.”
Broadband subscribers often change the name of their home Wi-Fi network to personalise it and sometimes the names are deliberately changed to those of well known viruses to make sure passers by don’t try to steal the signal.
"After an hour, [the captain] said there was a security threat and that we didn't have clearance to take off," passenger Elliot Del Pra said.
American Airlines is one of a handful of airlines to offer in-flight Wi-Fi onboard its new fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts and the LAX to LHR route is one of those served by the plane in question, however, it is unclear whether it was flying on this journey.
It’s unclear whether the passenger in question was using tethering from a phone or tablet to access the Internet on their laptop and in all truth it’s highly unlikely that we will ever find out.
Image Credit: Flickr (Daniel Foster)