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Passengers Taken Off Plane After Teen Sends Gun Pic

The image was of an airsoft gun that wasn't even on a plane
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2021 3:50 PM CDT
Passengers Taken Off Plane After Teens Sends Gun Pic
File photo of a United Airlines jet taxiing down a runway.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – Some passengers on a United flight from San Francisco to Orlando, Florida, got a weird photo on their Apple devices delivered via AirDrop. AirDrop is an Apple feature that lets photos be transmitted short distances, and it’s possible to leave that connection open to the public. A photo of an airsoft gun, apparently sent by a teenage passenger, understandably sparked concerns that there was a threat implied. The flight was about to leave the gate, when the pictures appeared, airport spokesman Doug Yakel said, according to NBC Bay Area.

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All the passengers were led off the plane, which was carefully inspected. Passengers were re-checked by TSA, too, SFGate reports. Authorities determined the photo of the replica gun wasn’t new, and the gun wasn’t on the plane. And, when the flight took off, neither was the prankster teen; authorities did not let him reboard. The plane was delayed but eventually took off safely. There’s been a marked uptick in incidents with unruly passengers in the last year, prompting carriers to beg the Department of Justice to prosecute people who cause disturbances. (Read more unruly passenger stories.)

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