Bomb Scare: Air China Flight Turns Around After Misunderstanding Passenger
An Air China flight from Paris to Beijing turned around on Thursday after a member of the crew misunderstood a passenger on the phone and thought he was calling in a bomb threat on the plane, officials at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) said.
The unidentified passenger called Air China to say, in English, that he was stuck behind police lines at the airport while police investigated a suspicious package in CDG's Terminal 1. The Air China employee misunderstood and thought the passenger was reporting a bomb on the Beijing-bound flight.
The miscommunication led to Flight CA876 turning back for Charles de Gaulle, where it was inspected for a bomb away from other aircraft. Chinese media first reported that the plane was turning around due to "suspected terrorist information."
The suspicious package in the airport was an abandoned box. Airport protocol requires police to set up barriers around any abandon packages and preemptively blow them up in case it is a bomb.
Airport authorities said the flight was rescheduled to takeoff at 9:00pm local time.