140310 The inside of the newly completed terminal at the King Shaka International Airport, which will be able to accommodate 7.2 million passengers a year.
140310 The inside of the newly completed terminal at the King Shaka International Airport, which will be able to accommodate 7.2 million passengers a year.

Woman held at airport over bomb joke

By Benita Enoch Time of article published Oct 21, 2011

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Police in KwaZulu-Natal have arrested a woman at King Shaka International Airport for allegedly commenting that she was carrying a bomb in her luggage.

Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) spokesman Colin Naidoo said the woman was on an early morning flight to Johannesburg on Friday, when she commented to a check-in clerk that she had a bomb in her bag.

Naidoo said the check-in staff member felt unsure if the woman was joking or not, and proceeded to alert authorities about the situation.

It is believed police then arrived at the Kulula check-in counter, where the woman was, and escorted her from the area into police holding cells.

“She was then arrested under the Civil Aviation Act, for making comments that threatened the safety of others,” Naidoo told IOL.

“There are signage markers clearly visible above all check-in counters at every airline’s station. These kinds of comments (about passengers carrying bombs in their luggage) creates unnecessary delays and puts passengers and staff at risk,” he said.

Naidoo said the woman’s luggage had been removed and tested by sniffer dogs and had been discovered to have not contained any explosive material.

“We want to encourage the public to remember that check-in agents are there are to protect the safety of passengers and airline crew.

“Passengers must not act in a manner that is deemed inappropriate by disrespecting the questions they are asked at check in. They must answer with either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’,” he said. - IOL

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