Here’s a hint: if you decide you want to smoke in the lavatory, don’t cover it up by claiming you were trying to detonate a shoe bomb.
A Qatari diplomat who caused a security alert aboard a United Airlines flight after smoking in a toilet will not be charged with a crime, an embassy representative said on Thursday.
Qatar’s ambassador to the United States called the incident aboard a flight from Washington to Denver late on Wednesday a "mistake" and said the man, who had diplomatic immunity, was traveling on official business.
He was caught smoking in a toilet and made a remark that was perceived as a threat on the plane, officials said. No smoking is allowed on commercial flights in the United States.
UA’s evening DCA-DEN flight is usually only about three hours long. Is it that hard to abstain from a cigarette?
Reuters didn’t have the guts to print what the man actually said, but the Times of London did:
Asked about the smoke as he emerged from the lavatory, Mr al-Modadi, a junior Qatari official in Washington, allegedly joked that he had been trying to light his shoes — an apparent reference to the British shoe-bomber, Richard Reid, who attempted to blow up an American airliner in December 2001. According to one account an air marshal heard the diplomat say: “I’m lighting my shoes on fire.”
What a witty joke! To a FAM no less!
Qatar’s ambassador to Washington, Ali bin Fahad al-Hajri, said the man posed no security threat.
"He was certainly not engaged in any threatening activity. The facts will reveal that this was a mistake, and we urge all concerned parties to avoid reckless judgments or speculation," al-Hajri said in a statement posted on the embassy’s Web site.
Why didn’t I get an F-16 escort on my flight?