Anyone who has traveled through an airport in the last decade will recognize the common loudspeaker announcement to be on the lookout for and to report any unattended, suspicious baggage or activity. It was one such item that caused Southwest Airlines to ground a flight and move passengers to another plane on Thursday night.
The 134 passengers on the Southwest flight from New Orleans to Phoenix had to deplane shortly before takeoff when pilots noticed a suspicious item, The Times-Picayune reports.
A spokesperson for Southwest says the pilots reported the unusual object around 7 p.m. – just 30 minutes before scheduled takeoff. Passengers were then relocated to another aircraft.
“When you see the pilot point at the plane, you know there’s a problem,” one traveler tells ABC15 in Arizona. “When you see the police pull up and point at the plane, you know there’s a problem.”
The spokesperson for the airline says the aircraft was eventually “cleared of any security threat,” but declined to provide additional details on what the object was.
Local authorities also declined to provide comment on the incident.
Southwest grounds airplane in New Orleans because of suspicious object [The Times-Picayune]
Suspicious package found on Southwest Airlines flight bound for Phoenix [ABC15 Arizona]