Air France Flight Canceled Due To Terrorism Joke… By Airport Agent!

Air France Flight Canceled Due To Terrorism Joke… By Airport Agent!

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Every so often there’s a story about a flight being seriously delayed or canceled because someone was trying to make a joke about something safety related. This story is along those lines, except this time it wasn’t a passenger making a joke.

Airport agent jokes there’s a terrorist on plane

This incident took place on July 14, 2022, on Air France flight AF646 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to Saint-Denis de La Réunion (RUN). The flight was operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, and was scheduled to depart at 4:40PM local time.

According to reports, during boarding an airport agent whispered in the ear of a girl that was boarding the plane to “be careful, there is a terrorist on the plane.” It’s not clear if this was an Air France agent, or an airport contract worker.

The child’s family informed the flight attendants of what was said, and they informed the captain. This triggered the flight having to undergo a full security check, and then eventually this caused the flight to be canceled.

As Air France explained in a statement (this is translated from French to English):

“Due to a suspicion of a malicious act the crew decided, in accordance with the security procedures in place, to interrupt the departure procedure of the plane and to have a security inspection carried out by the police. No real threat was observed during this inspection. The duration of this inspection caused the prescribed time for the engagement of the crews to be reached, consequently, the flight was postponed to July 15, 2022 at 4 p.m. The passengers were disembarked and taken care of by Air France teams for the night.”

Why would an airport agent joke about this?

Police were able to find the 46-year-old who made the comment to the passenger. He explained that he was just trying to “joke” with the child, and said he “did not want to harm anyone,” and he wasn’t aware of the consequences of the joke.

He will have to go to court next February (that far out?!), as he has been charged with obstructing the movement of an aircraft.

Air France has lodged a complaint, and estimates that the damage of this incident is roughly 550,000 Euro. I assume that includes paying out EU261 compensation to a lot of people, including for the return flight, which was also delayed by around a day.

Bottom line

There are always going to be some people who aren’t great with boundaries or reading the room. In the case of flying, typically it’s just passengers who behave this stupidly. Well, an Air France flight was recently canceled after an airport agent joked to a little girl that there was a terrorist on the flight. Somehow he didn’t see how that joke might not land well.

Conversations (26)
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  1. Munziotti Guest

    It's so sad that we are living with so much violences,insecure,tension,wars and others situations that someone dare to make that horrible jokes ? Munziotti

  2. dave Guest

    EU261 comp is not due here because terror threat is not an event under airline control.

  3. Romain Guest

    Not an air france agent ,but a wheelchair agent from adp (aeroport de paris)
    Stop writing fake news please

  4. iamhere Guest

    It's not a joke - no way to know if it is serious or not. There are certain topics you do not discuss or words you do not mention based on a situation.

  5. Hasime Guest

    I would never accept that joke , we know how many bad things happen in the air from bad people . I would be scared to fly with my family , after Hering that joke ??!! That’s not joke at all

  6. Emily Guest

    Europeans and Americans should stick to making jokes about each other. That feud is much funnier with much less severe consequences.

  7. sjs Guest

    Ben, pretty confident EC261 won't apply here. Hard to argue that this was a reasonably foreseeable act within the control of AF.

  8. Brianair Guest

    He could’ve been telling the child there was a terrace on the plane, like a Virgin Atlantic kind of bar or gathering area.

    1. Ralph Guest

      Maybe it was a “guitarist” on board, with a warning that part of the plane might break out into singing Kumbaya?

  9. John Guest

    I'm absolutely shocked that a Frenchman attempted humor instead of arrogance!

  10. derek Guest

    Are you sure?????

    Did the agent say "Be careful, there is tiramisu on the plane", knowing that tiramisu has alcohol in it, not good of a little child?

    1. Jeffrey Guest

      This is about terrorism, not what kinds of food are appropriate for kids. The gate agent should be fired for saying this as a joke.

  11. Icarus Guest

    Apparently it’s not airline staff but a 3rd party and taken very seriously. Arrested. Trial set for February 2023, risk of 5 years in prison and eur18000 fine :

    https://www.air-journal.fr/2022-07-21-cdg-une-blague-idiote-annule-un-vol-air-france-5237442.html

  12. Icarus Guest

    Eu compensation won’t be due in this case as it’s security. Only a refund of accommodation, meals. Allegedly an airport employee.

  13. MildMidwesterner Member

    This post should probably read *former* airport agent.

    1. Jeffrey Guest

      Oh yeah right. I just said that above.

  14. Ella Guest

    That’s one sick puppy if they wanted to give a little girl nightmares.

  15. D3kingg Guest

    Hahaha. That’s hilarious. A French terrorist. 2022 is going to be a vintage year for sure.

  16. FlyingPhysicist New Member

    It's typical European dark humour, but that is a notion that should not be joked about in an airport nonetheless. This is the same as screaming "fire" in a movie theatre but with more dire consequences.

    1. Laurent Guest

      It’s not typical European humour to joke to a child about there being a terrorist on the plane they’re boarding. Typical European humour usually revolves around how most Americans don’t really understand humour

    2. FlyingPhysicist New Member

      No, when we rip on Americans, it's usually ripping on their stereotypes or how backwards they are, not how they don't understand humour. I never said that the direct action about joking about terrorists to child was typical dark humour, but joking about stuff like this in general is typical by stand-up comedians at pubs and when friends joke around. I also state above how this is not okay to do at an airport in...

      No, when we rip on Americans, it's usually ripping on their stereotypes or how backwards they are, not how they don't understand humour. I never said that the direct action about joking about terrorists to child was typical dark humour, but joking about stuff like this in general is typical by stand-up comedians at pubs and when friends joke around. I also state above how this is not okay to do at an airport in general, so I guess you couldn't read that.

      It's okay to be ignorant, but next time, don't jump to conclusions.

    3. Laurent Guest

      Europeans don’t use the phrase “rip on” either ;)

    4. Bobby Spinks Guest

      What part of Europe do you come from??? I wouldn’t call this European humour at all…

    5. lucky_fan New Member

      Looks like you aren't from Europe because you clearly haven't even heard of Charlie Hebdo while the bloke above has.

  17. Mike O. Guest

    Once again, well done with the pun at the end.

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FlyingPhysicist New Member

No, when we rip on Americans, it's usually ripping on their stereotypes or how backwards they are, not how they don't understand humour. I never said that the direct action about joking about terrorists to child was typical dark humour, but joking about stuff like this in general is typical by stand-up comedians at pubs and when friends joke around. I also state above how this is not okay to do at an airport in general, so I guess you couldn't read that. It's okay to be ignorant, but next time, don't jump to conclusions.

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Laurent Guest

It’s not typical European humour to joke to a child about there being a terrorist on the plane they’re boarding. Typical European humour usually revolves around how most Americans don’t really understand humour

3
FlyingPhysicist New Member

It's typical European dark humour, but that is a notion that should not be joked about in an airport nonetheless. This is the same as screaming "fire" in a movie theatre but with more dire consequences.

3
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