People Still Joke About Bombs At Airports, And Still Get In Trouble

Illustration for article titled People Still Joke About Bombs At Airports, And Still Get In Trouble

It's amazing that at this day and age that there are still idiots out there who think it's funny to joke about bombs at the airport. And whether you like the TSA or not, they take the jokes as threats, and they often come with stiff penalties in the form of huge fines.


In October, a Venezuelan doctor casually mentioned he was carrying C4 explosive when he was asked questions prior to boarding an Avianca Airlines flight from Miami to Bogota, Colombia. His "joke" caused the evacuation of the airport and the delay of hundreds of flights while the bomb squad came and did their sweeps. Yahoo News reports that sixty year-old doctor Manuel Alvarado was fined $89,172 for the incident.

Gaylord Focker got kicked off a flight just for mentioning a bomb in 'Meet the Parents'

Last month, another traveler in the Philippines caused a similar scare, when he allegedly told a flight attendant his bag wouldn't fit in the overhead bin because it contained a bomb. Here in the U.S., a false statement about carrying a bomb can get you up to 15 years in prison, according to FlyerTalk. A British student named Samantha Marson also joked about carrying a bomb, in 2004, also in Miami. She was lucky enough to be released after issuing a formal apology and a $5,000 fine.

In addition to bombs, remember that guns can't be taken onto planes in your carry-on baggage. Last week alone, the TSA discovered 39 guns in carry-on luggage — 30 of which were loaded.

Flying gets many of us in a stressful mood, and laughter is a great way to diffuse a tense situation. But don't be that asshole who tries to test the TSA's sense of humor, because you'll end up wishing you hadn't.

Paul Thompson is a aviation journalist with over 13 years of experience working in the airline industry, who maintains the website Flight Club for You can contact Paul to submit story ideas, your own "Plane Porn" photos, and comments regarding this or any other aviation topic via email at



$89,000? That's bullshit. These people have no sense of proportion.