Air Canada flight from Dominican Republic cancelled after false bomb threat
Passengers getting ready to take off on an Air Canada flight from the Dominican Republic to Montreal on Tuesday had their trip abruptly halted after alleged bomb threats sent via an Airdrop instant message.
According to a passenger on the flight, who wished to remain anonymous due to the threats being made, passengers began getting out of their seats as the plane sat on the tarmac, voicing concern as iPhones started pinging with requests to receive an Airdropped photo.
Airdrop is a system built into most Apple products -- phones, laptops and tablets -- that allows the devices to transfer files to other devices that are nearby, with the recipient's permission.
"They kept on going at it," the passenger said. "Some of us in the plane... for those who were connected, we got a request to receive an Airdrop."
The passenger said requests for Airdrop continued, and passengers became agitated as they saw the image that had been sent.
"A lady with her kid, standing up crying, and her husband, who was standing, said 'There's a bomb, but no one in the plane is telling us anything,'" the passenger said.
The passenger who spoke to CTV News didn't see the images at the time, but saw them later, after the TVA news network published them. One showed a picture of a bomb.
The flight was cancelled. The passengers returned Wednesday and boarded another plane.
Air Canada confirmed that there was a security threat on flight AC1297 yesterday, saying it was later deemed non-credible after being assessed.
"Out of an abundance of caution, passengers and luggage were deplaned and re-screened," said spokesperson Pascal Dery.
"Because of the delays that resulted from this incident, the flight was cancelled after the crew exceeded their duty time permitted by law. The affected customers are now back in Montreal."
Air Canada notified Transport Canada about the incident.
The flight was already troubling to passengers in the moments before the photos were sent, when a fight broke out on board, though it's unclear if the two incidents were connected.
"Within 20 minutes of embarking, two ladies started to fight over a seat," the passenger said.
The fight got louder around the same time the Airdrop requests began, said the passenger.