American Airlines passenger recalls security scare at Albuquerque Sunport

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M – An American Airlines flight was evacuated on the Albuquerque International Sunport tarmac this weekend after multiple passengers had a bomb threat sent to them over AirDrop.

The airline later confirmed there was no bomb on the plane, but it didnt make the experience of an emergency evacuation any less scary for the passengers.

KOB 4’s Spencer Schacht spoke to one passenger who received the messages while in the air.

“We know you are sitting in seat 17 F. ‘ohh that’s behind us’ we need you to stand up.”

It was not the welcome to Albuquerque any of these passengers expected.

“The police came in and they screamed his name a lot to get up, he didn’t get up,” said Sydney.

A tense ending to a flight that started with a concerning and scary message.

“At 8:27 I started receiving AirDrop notifications. I declined the first one and I accepted the second one and it said ‘you will die today,” Sydney said.

Sydney received another AirDrop with the same message and as the flight went on even more passengers got the disturbing notification.

“Another girl from Albuquerque she received another AirDrop and she accepted and it said “with a bomb” just three words, so she took it immediately to the flight attendant on board,” said Sydney.

The American Airline flight attendants told her they are contacting the authorities but to keep them posted if she got any more threats—it didn’t take long for the fourth message to pop up on her phone.

“About 15 min later she got another request on her phone, and it said she accepted it, and it said ‘bomb on plane’ three words again. And after she accepted it she took it back to the flight attendants that she had talked to and that’s when they called bomb squad,” Sydney said.

As they landed, the plane was kept away from the airport and quickly surrounded by authorities. 

“To be honest I was scared for my life when I realized what was– I guess when we jolted the plane to a stop was when I started to get scared, cause I started to realize ‘you will die today’ is not a funny joke and that it could be more serious,” said Sydney.

As the FBI boarded the plane and took the suspect into custody.

“Turn around hands on top of your head, hands on top of your head, don’t touch anything.”

Everyone else was escorted off as they searched the plane for a bomb. 

American Airlines confirmed Monday the threat was not credible. 

After this flight home Sydney says it doesn’t deter her from flying in the future, but she will always accept AirDrops on the plane from now on.

“Going forward I will always be turning my AirDrop on in the airport because the FBI said it is safest to know things ahead of time, and I will always take that direction and tell my flight attendants right away if I receive anything,” she said. 

The FBI interviewed multiple passengers and had everyone go through airport security again before they could get their belongings off the plane.