Everyone who has felt the urge to make some wisecracks about bombs on planes, and there are no doubt many of us who would like to make light of the serious security procedures in place at airports, take note of the plight of one passenger flying into Dubai on Emirates in July -08. Thirtyseven year old Briton Mark Winterbottom thought it would be a giggle to claim that ‘The bomb will go off in seven minutes’ and press buttons frantically on his mobile. Sadly for him nobody else got the joke and a full scale security event broke out, leaving him jailed for four months.
Claiming he was drunk at the time and only acting in self-defence, rather than assaulting crew and passengers while being restrained, Winterbottom did admit to the prank but said he couldn’t remember doing it. Not much of a defence, especially in a Muslim country, against charges of endangering the aircraft, assault and drunkenness. So if you must crack some terrorist gags on a flight, don’t expect anyone else to see the funny side.