Virgin flight delayed by Galaxy Note wi-fi hoax
- 22 December 2016
- From the section Technology
A flight in America was delayed and almost diverted on Tuesday after a passenger changed the name of their wi-fi device to 'Samsung Galaxy Note 7'.
Lucas Wojciechowski was on Virgin America flight 358 from San Francisco to Boston and told BBC News he photographed the hotspot after noticing it when he opened his laptop.
A call went out for any passenger with a Note 7 to press their call button.
Mr. Wojciechowski subsequently tweeted the crew's announcements from the late night flight after the pilot warned passengers they would have to make an emergency landing.
"This isn't a joke. We're going to turn on the lights (it's 11pm) and search everyone's bag until we find it.
"This is the captain speaking. Apparently the plane is going to have to get diverted and searched if nobody fesses up soon."
The owner came forward confessing there was no Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on board, but they had changed the name of their SSID wireless device to 'Samsung Galaxy Note 7_1097.'
According to Mr. Wojciechowski, the flight crew later announced: "Ladies and gentlemen, we found the device. Luckily only the name of the device was changed to 'Galaxy Note 7'. It was not a GN7."
Serenity Caldwell, managing editor of Apple products news and reviews site iMore, was on the ground where the plane was landing and had arrived early to board her flight. She posted a series of tweets when she arrived at her gate.
"When I got to the airport (early) today, I found a huge line of people at the counter to my gate. Turns out, the flight had been cancelled.
"It took about two hours for everyone to get their itineraries finally sorted. Finally, they all move on to their new gates and our crew comes.
"They're hanging out while we wait to begin boarding, and one of them lets this slip: "Know why the 9am flight got cancelled?
"The plane was mid-flight when an attendant noticed a wi-fi hotspot. A Galaxy Note 7 wi-fi hotspot. Everyone else makes a horrified face."
Mr. Wojciechowski said he believed no further action was taken on the passenger with the device.
BBC News approached Virgin America for comment who said, "The U.S. Deptarment of Transportation has banned the transport of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 onboard all U.S. aircraft, and Virgin America actively informs guests that they should not bring these devices onboard.
As such, when our InFlight Teammates see potential evidence of this device onboard, they take it seriously. In this case, there was no such device - and no flights were cancelled or delayed as a result."