What (not) to do when you are too late for your flight

Jacob Abdellak is booked on a Norwegian flight from London Gatwick to Los Angeles, California, USA on May 11, 2018. However, he is running late and airline staff prevents him from boarding. They tell him he needs to rearrange his flight for another date.

He is abusive towards airline staff, which does not help him to get on board. Then he calls police just 8 minutes before scheduled departure to make an anonymous bomb threat to the flight. His aim is to delay departure so that he can still board. As passengers have to be re-screened, take-off is delayed by 90 minutes.

Obviously, he is in panic, but making a hoax bomb threat is very stupid. It causes fear and distress among staff and passengers on board the flight. Moreover, it does not help Abdellak to board the flight. He is still denied boarding because he arrived too late.

After having rebooked he returns to Gatwick on May 22, 2018 for a flight to Los Angeles. Meanwhile, however, investigators have discovered that the bomb threat was made from the same phone number as included in Abdellak’s booking with Norwegian.

As a result, he is arrested and charged with communicating false information regarding a noxious substance likely to create serious risk to human health. Initially, he denies the charge by claiming that he had lost the SIM card days before the call and therefore it could not have been made by him.

But on the day of his trial he changes his plea to guilty. Subsequently, he is jailed for 10 months and ordered to pay a £140 (€156 or $178) victim surcharge. The victim surcharge was first introduced in April 2007. When a court passes a sentence it must also order that the relevant surcharge is paid.

The amount of the surcharge depends on the sentence and increases with the amount of the fine or the duration of the jail time, while it is also higher for an adult than for a youth (under 18 years of age). Revenue raised from the victim surcharge is used to fund victim services through the Victim and Witness General Fund.

This story is a lesson for every traveler running late: never make a bomb threat to any flight.

Tags: bomb threat, Norwegian, London Gatwick Airport

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