Considering the hyped-up, half-assed shit the TSA forces you to go through before your typical flight, making a bomb-related joke at the airport probably isn't the best move. But, according to the AP, flier Peter Friesema didn't let a thing like common sense get in the way of potential comedy gold and apparently made a wisecrack about having a bomb in his bag. Things went about as well as you'd expect: authorities shutdown Anchorage's Ted Stevens International Airport for three hours hours early Sunday morning as police searched for the non-existent bomb.
Authorities weren't sure what prompted Friesema to make the joke, but airport manager John Parrott had a few ideas.
The passenger may have just been trying to get attention, Parrott said.
Sounds about right. Whatever the reason, flights were totally screwed as a result.
Maybe a half dozen flights involving hundreds of passengers were affected, Parrott said. Some planes arriving early Sunday pulled up at the North Terminal or their passengers were directed to go there, and other planes scheduled to take off around 1 a.m. departed late, causing passengers to miss connections in other cities. A number of airlines were affected, including Alaska, Delta, U.S. Airways and United, he said.
Passengers and airport employees were forced to stand outside while police searched the airport. And, Alaska being Alaska, the weather wasn't great.
Chilled passengers, many of them in summer clothes from their warm departure cities, huddled in doorways to keep warm. The evacuation began just after midnight.
Shortly after 1 a.m., airport shuttle buses began taking them to the North Terminal for a respite from the cold, though the shuttles could only carry a dozen people at a time and there were hundreds who had been evacuated.
Eventually, the FBI interviewed Friesma and determined his sweet joke/bomb threat wasn't credible. He's being held on $5,000 bail.
[Image via AP]