Yesterday was a busy day for US Airways and its officials, at their Philadelphia International Airport (PIA) Terminal. Because of two separate incidents on US Air, the ‘skies weren’t just unfriendly, they were downright costly.’ With bomb sniffing dogs, FBI agents, SWAT Teams, local police, and airport officials all rousted from their normal routines, the airline may have lost money because of delays, but they didn’t lose lives.
The first incident was an afternoon bomb threat which caused US Airways flight 777, from Shannon, Ireland, to be diverted from Pittsburgh, PA and rerouted to PIA. The flight made its emergency landing in Philadelphia shortly before 2:00 p.m. As the 171 passengers and 8 crew members deplaned the aircraft, awaiting law enforcement agents stood at-the-ready to escort them onto buses, and shuttle them elsewhere in the airport where inspection of luggage and person, could be performed.
After the evacuation, the Boeing 757 was moved to an isolated area of the airport where it could be inspected without incident.
Though no immediate details about the bomb threat were available, FBI spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski said that agents were assisting Transportation Security Administration officials with the investigation. However, as the investigation progressed, a U.S. government official stated to Fox News that it was a hoax.
After the plane was thoroughly inspected, and cleared for takeoff, it again soared, in route to its original destination.
The second incident occurred yesterday evening when a flight bound for Barcelona, Spain had to return to Philadelphia International Airport (PIA). According to officials, a drunken passenger became disruptive and had to be restrained by others onboard.
Airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica, said that US Airways Flight 742 left for Barcelona at about 7:50 p.m. Wednesday evening. By 9:45 p.m., the plan was returning to PIA. Sources on the plane said that an intoxicated man became very disorderly and began threatening the lives of the flight attendants on board. At this time, it is not known what incensed the man, but other passengers quickly subdued him and kept him restrained without injury until he was handed to airport police.
The flight was scheduled to leave again at 1:15 a.m. this morning, but because of mechanical problems, it was again delayed.