If there’s one thing I’ve noticed from constantly being in different hotels, it’s that people have all kinds of ridiculous names for their Wi-Fi hotspots. Probably the most common is something with “NSA” in it. Actually, I just pulled up the Wi-Fi networks in my “range” right now, and one of them happens to be “NSA Surveillance.” Hah.
Well, you might want to be careful about which hotspot names you use at airports or on planes, as it could lead to a significant delay. That’s what happened to a Qantas flight between Melbourne and Perth on Saturday, which was delayed by roughly 2.5 hours due to a passenger spotting a hotspot with the name “Mobile Detonation Device.”
Per The West Australian, the passenger showed it to the crew, who informed the captain, which lead to the following:
Passenger John Vidler said the captain broadcast a message to passengers telling them the flight was being delayed because a “device” was believed to be aboard that needed to be 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,” Mr Vidler said.
The device was not found and the plane was cleared for take-off.
But Mr Vidler said he and about 40 other travellers felt so unsettled by the experience they demanded to be let off the flight.
I know airlines have to take all threats seriously, though this is one I’m a bit torn on. First of all, we don’t know whether the hotspot was actually on the plane, or just in the terminal. Second of all, given the trend of people trying to be funny with their hotspot names, I’m not surprised by something like this. So personally while I’m someone who is very security conscious and errs on the side of caution, I wouldn’t think twice about this.
Still, the airline is right for investigating, though I’m also surprised 40 passengers decided to deplane because of this.
Would you be scared if you saw a hotspot with the name “Mobile Detonation Device” on a plane?
(Tip of the hat to Mike)