Sunday, 12 June 2016

Wifi name grounds Qantas plane

QANTAS B747-438 VH-OJS (CN 25564)                     (File Photo)

You may have been unlucky enough to have a flight grounded before. It might have been for mechanical reasons, or maybe the weather was to blame… but could a WiFi SSID ground a plane?
Apparently it can. Qantas opted to ground a flight that was headed from Perth to Melbourne after someone spotted an oddly-named wireless network. It seems that among the plane’s passengers there was one who figured that “Mobile Detonation Device” was a clever way to keep strangers from trying to connect to a hotspot.
After another passenger reported it to the flight crew, the pilot announced that there was some kind of device onboard that had a “threatening name.” He added that the plane wouldn’t be taking off until it was found.
Apparently the culprit opted to shut the hotspot down and keep quiet, because the device was never found. The flight did eventually take off, arriving in Perth about two hours behind schedule. It would’ve made it there sooner, but around 40 of the passengers refused to fly and demanded to be let off with their luggage.
Plenty of people give their WiFi network a scary-sounding name to ward off potential freeloaders. Normally, it’s not any big deal. But if you’re getting ready to board a plane you may want to temporarily change it or just leave your hotspot shut off… unless you’re cool risking a one-on-one visit with a disgruntled airport security staffer with a pair of rubber gloves.

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