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Wi-Fi network named 'mobile detonation device' grounds plane

Fears spark two-hour delay as nervous passengers disembark

Australian airline QANTAS delayed a flight for two hours on Saturday after a passenger reported seeing a Wi-Fi network named “Mobile detonation device”.

The passenger reported the network's name to crew, who in turn reported it to the captain of the 737, which was due to fly from Melbourne to Perth.

The captain demanded that the offending device be produced, an order that apparently had no result.

As the reason for the delay became apparent, some passengers asked to be let off the flight. QANTAS was only too happy to comply with that request, but retrieving the baggage caused further delays. Crew were eventually satisfied the SSID posed no threat and the plane made it to Perth without incident, albeit a couple of hours late.

QANTAS has recently installed in-flight entertainment systems that stream content over Wi-Fi and this report suggests the plane in question, VH-VXE, was upgraded to those systems in February 2016. Which explains why passengers were looking up Wi-Fi network names. ®

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