How a 10-year-old prankster caused a flight to Orlando to stop prematurely

Elaine Thompson/AP
·1 min read

Passengers experienced an unsettling situation aboard an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Orlando on Sunday evening.

But the drama wasn’t caused over mask-wearing or a drunken brawler. The trouble on Flight 16 came from a precocious, tech-savvy boy, who likely got a good talking-to later.

According to widespread media reports, shortly before the flight pulled into the terminal at Orlando International Airport, a message came over the intercom about a problem.

“We’re taxiing in and all of a sudden the plane gets interrupted with a peculiar notice that we’re going to park on an active runway for a moment,” an unnamed passenger told WKMG. “After that, they said there was a threat to the plane and that we are not going to be approaching any terminal for anytime soon.”

Police boarded and soon realized that a 10-year-old had airdropped an ominous message to another traveler, who notified a crew member.

According to a statement from the Seattle-based carrier: “After Alaska Airlines flight 16 from Seattle landed in Orlando, it parked remotely because of a potential threat that was later deemed non-credible. Police boarded and cleared the aircraft. The plane continued to its gate and passengers deplaned as normal. We take safety seriously and we apologize for the inconvenience for our guests.”

The mom and jokester were escorted off. No charges were filed.