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Passenger Claims to Have an Explosive Device After Missing Flight

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According to passengers, a woman at the Phoenix airport claimed a bomb was in her bag so that the airline would have her bag removed from the airplane after she missed her flight.

Reports came out on January 24 of a bomb scare at the Phoenix airport. It was later revealed the scare was a hoax and the woman claiming that there was a bomb in her bag was making a false report.

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The passenger was identified as 53-year-old Hope L. Webber. Following the incident, she was arrested on suspicion of false emergency reporting and making a false terrorism report after officers and the bomb squad, who were called to the scene, failed to find any such explosive device.

Part of the terminal was evacuated, and the American Airlines flight from Phoenix to Salt Lake City, Utah, was delayed while the baggage was removed.

“On 24 January, American Airlines requested police to meet flight AA648 prior to departure,” said a statement from the airline.

Some passengers took to Twitter to express their anger over the flight delay, including Katie Hinsen, who shared that some passengers were missing funerals and work because of the delay.

“She thought having her bag on the same flight as her was more important than the 100-something other folks with places to be. The family missing a funeral. The folks missing career ops at @sundance. I hope she goes on a no-fly list,” Hinsen tweeted followed by a photo of the bomb squad.

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Airline News

Airlines Scaling Back On Some In-Flight Services Due to Coronavirus

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A few airlines, including those already affected by the coronavirus outbreak, have begun scaling back on some in-flight services as a way to help fight the virus.

The Points Guy writes that Singapore Airlines – obviously based in Asia, where the coronavirus has been most dangerous after originating in China – recently sent its frequent fliers an email about such changes.

Singapore advised its customers that some in-flight amenities will be discontinued, such as hot towel service, after-takeoff drink service, removal of reading materials from seat-back pockets, and suspension of in-flight sales.

Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research, said that Chinese and Taiwanese carriers have taken similar precautionary steps based on government guidance, including removing pillows and blankets on some flights.

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“They’re changing their cabin service procedures, so the passengers will notice this,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy.

But Harteveldt also remained optimistic that passengers wouldn’t pitch a fit given the circumstances.

“Passengers will accept (the reduction in services) because they’re being done in the interest of health and wellness,” he said.

As the virus, now known as covid-19, continues to expand globally, it remains to be seen if other airlines – including those based in the U.S. who offer international travel – adopt the same practice.

The aviation industry is quite often a copycat business, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see some similar changes put into place.

“As adults, we have to be logical and rational when we experience these inconveniences,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy. “This isn’t cost-cutting, this isn’t random, this is in the best interest of public health.”

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