Airdrop Bomb Threat Interrupts Flight


A United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Vancouver was diverted to San Francisco Monday night after some passengers received an alleged bomb threat via Airdrop. “There was a threat that was ultimately deemed noncredible,” the FBI said in a statement.

The threat would have had to have been sent by someone onboard using an Apple device, and only those onboard with Apple devices set up to receive Airdrop files would have received the threat. Airdrop uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to allow file sharing between Apple devices in close proximity. At least one passenger reported receiving the threat and being interviewed by the FBI.

The FBI did not mention any arrests or further investigations. The A320 was over Northern California when the crew squawked 7700 and headed for KSFO. The plane landed at 9:28 p.m. and was met by law enforcement. The flight resumed at 8:30 a.m. and landed in Vancouver at 10:20 a.m.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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    • My guess is this was a tween. Airdropping seems to be a common thing with middle schoolers. Which would explain why they wouldn’t think they’d get caught.

  1. Its been a while since apple changed airdrop. To receive a file from a stranger you now must specifically turn it on and it only lasts 10 minutes. The old operating systems have the option to enable it for everyone indefinitely. So lots of people on this flight have the old one it seems

  2. Even if they get caught the DOJ either doesn’t prosecute, or it takes years to get to a trial, and then if convicted they get probation or a suspended sentence from a woke judge in Kalifornia.