A passenger was kicked off a flight from Whangarei to Auckland in New Zealand after someone joked that they were carrying a bomb.
The Air New Zealand service was due to depart on 24 August when the ill-conceived comment saw the traveller and their luggage removed from the aircraft.
Air New Zealand confirmed that security protocols were followed after a “potential security concern”.
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The incident seems to have been triggered by a relative of the passenger concerned making a joke.
Police told Newshub that a man and a woman were assisting in their enquiries after “a person alleged another person was in possession of an explosive“.
”Police did an extensive search of the person’s belongings and the plane and no items of concern were found,” said a police spokesperson.
They added that the matter was now “resolved”.
Michael Chubb, Whangarei District Airport manager, confirmed that a second person was responsible.
He said: “It appears to have been a careless joke from the passengers’ relatives, calling across the fence.
“So yeah, like the sign says – all jokes are taken seriously.”
After the passenger was removed, the flight took off as scheduled.
The Independent has contacted Air New Zealand for further comment.
It’s not the first time a joke has seen a traveller’s plans ruined.
A passenger on an Indian airline was kicked off a flight in 2018 after he was caught tying a handkerchief around his face to make a terrorist joke on Snapchat.
Yogvedant Poddar was detained by police after another passenger told the crew he had sent a message including the words “terrorist” and “destroy”.
The caption of the image he sent via Snapchat said: “Terrorist on flight, I destroy women’s hearts”.
Mr Poddar’s prank backfired during the Jet Airways flight from Kolkata to Mumbai, and he was removed from the flight and arrested by police.
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