Plane Returned to Gate and Delayed 2.5 Hours After 3 Passengers Take Pictures

Last week a United Airlines flight out of Denver International Airport was returned to the gate after being ready for takeoff when a passenger noticed “suspicious behavior” and notified a flight attendant. The plane was evacuated and swept for suspicious devices, the suspicious passengers were taken and questioned, and the flight was delayed by 2.5 hours. Now it’s believed that the passengers were simply taking pictures during taxiing, though the fact that two of the picture takers were of Middle Eastern descent likely had something to do with the “suspiciousness”.

(via The Consumerist)

Thanks for the tip Eugene!

Image credit: Air Canada’s Boeing 777 interior by Smaku

  • Kelly Knights

    Ridiculous. When I think of how many times I’ve taken pictures from inside the airport or on a plane, I think I would be seriously offended/upset had someone branded me as “suspicious” when all I wanted was something to put on my blog.

  • Ashish Bahl

    Again its united……

  • Vaughn Davis

    There’s taxing on flights now? Sheesh! As if the baggage charges weren’t enough…

  • chuck

    This is absolutely disgusting. If people are intent on blowing shit up they’ll do it with or without pictures. Taking pictures IS NOT a crime and should not be basis for suspicion.

  • Michael Zhang

    ;-) thanks for the catch

  • Toni Aull

    Were too overly cautious and not enough practice on discernment!!

  • cool

    Common sense is not common :-)) People need awareness about Photography.

  • Pieter

    I wonder, who are the terrorists nowadays? ……Probably the government

  • Ganges

    Americans drop way more bombs than all the terrorists combined they should profile Americans at airports not the Arabs LOL

  • Jacquesdemerde

    Americans + paranoia + racism

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  • Oliver Lea

    You know, of course, this is far less to do with photography than it is to do with racist paranoid fools. If the people taking pictures had been Caucasians, then the plane would have got off the ground fine. But OH MAN, they’re not white, they must be terrorists. Because pictures out the window of a plane are real useful to blowing up stuff, which obviously happens so regularly. It’s like Baghdad everywhere in America, right now.
    Stuff like this makes me despair.

  • Dana Weise

    Actually I know some Caucasian people who have been taken in for questioning for taking photos in the airport, and read several articles dealing with TSA who don’t know their arse from a hole in the ground when it comes to their own policies. But I do agree, it probably was a racial bent to it.

  • CallieModeland

    I lost a ton of respect for airport officials last summer when I was trying to board a plane… they decided that my cat urgency to catch my plane was suspicious. I threw my cap on backwards my clothes were the typical 5 am casual airplane hopper outfit and I had 2 carry on cases full of camera and hard drive equipment….. over and over again they scanned my equipment. had me remove all of it from the casings to be scanned again. When that wasn’t satisfying enough they decided to swap every piece of camera equipment I had even the little stuff like wireless remotes. I was stressing they called last boarding announcement for my flight which gives you about 10 min. every 2 min after that they kept announcing my name on the PA system to board my plane. I told security that I would miss my plane if they kept up they craziness but they took that as a sign of suspiciousness, as though I was trying to hide something. F*$% eventually they finished my clothes in one hand, equipment slagged over my other arm and computer balanced somewhere in between I ran I ran fast and I ran far, arriving literally 30 secs before the plane doors were shut. WOW that was stressful

  • John

    In you case I would not run for the closing door. I will just go the the airline counter and ask them to wait for me because of the security check. This day if you have check in a baggage and you are not on the plane the plane will be grounded untill your baggage is remove from the plane for security reason, and that take ages and airline would rather wait for you or even give you a free ride to the gate.

  • Bob_b3

    Actually, they will keep your bags on the plane and leave without you.  I work in the airline biz and see this happening all of the time.  The airlines don’t care what they do to people nowadays.  It’s disgusting.