Cancun, Q.R. — A plane scheduled to leave Cancun for Manchester, UK was grounded after the pilot refused to fly.
Shortly after the the Thomson plane was fully boarded, a passenger noticed a WiFi hotspot labeled Jihadist Cell London 1. Cabin crew were alerted and an immediate inspection began.
According to The Sun, the pilot initially announced a delay of 40 minutes because of “lax ground staff”, however, the pilot eventually told passengers, “Someone has something on their phone which had an extremely subversive title to it – Jihadists Cell London 1 – and obviously we have to take this kind of thing very, very seriously.
“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 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.
“Whatever, this is utterly unacceptable. Our security people are looking into this.”
The pilot later informed passengers that the WiFi hotspot name had been deleted and that he wasn’t prepared to fly until the culprit was identified.
In a second message the pilot added, “If someone on here has done this please make yourself known to the cabin crew so we can resolve this.”
In his third message, the pilot announced the arrival of police on board the aircraft to begin a search of passengers’ mobile phones explaining, “We’re going to come down the left hand side of the aircraft. They are going to ask you to switch on your electronic stuff for them to check a few things. I know it’s an infringement, but we need to get this resolved. I want to go home and I’m sure you do.”
A passenger on board the plane said, “The Mexican security services were brought on to investigate but by then the WiFi hotspot name had been deleted.”
Sniffer dogs and armed police became part of the team examining the aircraft. The flight was initially delayed two-and-a-half hours, but after no one claimed the WiFi name and security officials failed to find the person responsible, the flight was canceled and passengers sent to a hotel for the night.
The incident on the UK-bound Thomson flight occurred mere hours after Monday’s terror attack in Manchester.