Imagine that you hear this over the plane's annoucement while still airborne in the air:-
"This is your captain speaking, we have just received a message from the ground and we thought that the passengers should be made aware of it too. Please don't be startled by what I'm going to tell you. We wish to remind all passengers to remain in their seat and my crew will certainly address all issues as much as we can.
The air traffic controller in Singapore has informed us that our plane may be carrying a bomb as an anonymous caller has identified our plane to the authorities.
We are looking to land at the nearest airport and we assure you of our best efforts in ensuring that you will land safely."
This may not be the exact words from the captain as different airlines may have standard wordings to mention when faced with different circumstances. But a message of such magnitude, passengers will definitely freak out no matter how carefully and softly it was presented.
If I was inside the plane, the thoughts of your family members and loved ones will come across your mind.
If you come from a religious background, you will tend to pray for journey mercy so that your plane will land safely.
I wonder if any passenger from that Singapore Airlines SQ61 plane, on the Houston-Moscow-Singapore sector, who may have twit, fb or even blog about what had happened inside the plane. Or were the passengers kept in the dark about a bomb threat throughout the journey till they landed safely?
If the message was brought to the attention of the passengers, I wonder were they informed of which airport that they are landing.
At first, the nearest airport was in Delhi, where the runway could fit the size of a
Boeing 777-300 ER. But the Delhi air traffic disallowed their landing and the pilots were forced to look for an alternative.
Reason for being disallowed - the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games were in progress. What?
You mean to say the lives of 225 passengers and 39 crew on board were not important that they should receive immediate rescue despite a bomb threat being lodged. What is this air traffic controllers in Delhi are thinking about? They are so worried that if a plane was to explode at their airport, it will give India a bad name or that it will threaten the peaceful atmosphere of Delhi that is hosting an international event. This is really too much.
The plane was forced to look for an alternative landing spot and it was Kolkata, an airport which was three hours away. Wow, I really want to know what was the passengers' reactions if they had actually been informed of the bomb threat earlier (while nearby Delhi) and having to sit on a ticking time bomb for another three hours before you can be saved.
I would say that this air traffic practise is totally wrong. The people in those air traffic controls could have made a major mistake and the "victims" families would have lost a family member for a reason that is so ridiculous.
Thank God it was a hoax but it should have been taken seriously.
Reading: Flight 3 hours in air despite bomb alert - The Times of India
Tags: Singapore Airlines, SQ61, Air Passengers, Airplane Bomb Threat, Delhi, Kolkata