Every now and again, a story would surface about a flight that was significantly delayed or canceled because someone tried to make a joke about something serious. Similar to that, but with the exception that the joke wasn’t made by a fellow passenger in this case.
On July 14, 2022, Air France flight AF646 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to Saint-Denis de La Réunion was involved in this event. The flight, which was to leave around 4:40 PM local time, was being operated by a Boeing 777-300ER.
There are rumors that an airport employee warned a female boarding the plane to “be careful, there is a terrorist on the plane” as she did so. It’s unclear if this individual was an Air France agent or a contract airport employee.
The family of the child told the flight attendants what was stated, and the crew members told the captain. This resulted in the flight needing to go through an extensive security check, which ultimately led to the flight being canceled.
As Air France explained in a statement (this is translated from French to English):
“Due to a suspicion of a malicious act, the crew decided, in accordance with the security procedures in place, to interrupt the departure procedure of the plane and to have a security inspection carried out by the police. No real threat was observed during this inspection.
The duration of this inspection caused the prescribed time for the engagement of the crews to be reached, consequently, the flight was postponed to July 15, 2022 at 4 p.m. The passengers were disembarked and taken care of by Air France teams for the night.”