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AirTran e-mail stirs up Internet firestorm -with video (FAA now investigating)
KHOU ^ | 12-3-09 | Leigh Frillici

Posted on 12/04/2009 12:03:40 AM PST by STARWISE

The FAA is investigating an incident aboard an AirTran flight from Atlanta to Houston that touched off a firestorm of e-mails.

AirTran Flight 297 was delayed on November 17 after a passenger refused to turn off his cell phone.


According to the e-mail, Petruna and other passengers believed they witnessed a dry run for a terrorist attack. Petruna said he couldn’t talk on camera, but Chaplain Keith Robinson, who was also on the flight, did talk with us.


“Flight attendants were sobbing openly,” Robinson said. Robinson said a passenger getting off the plane warned him not to get on.

“He said ‘I just saw them there were these Middle Eastern men. They were taking pictures. They wouldn’t sit down, ‘” Robinson said. “Besides that, he said a couple of them were making gestures with their hand as if they were shooting people.”

Petruna’s e-mail said there were 11 Muslims on the plane and two of them ignored flight attendants orders to turn off their cell phones. He said they shouted at the flight attendants and he and another Texan had to intervene.

Petruna said the 11 men were taken off the plane, but then allowed back on, angering the crew and some passengers.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: airlinesecurity; airtran; airtranflight297; dryrun; faa; flight297; muslims
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This is quite strange.
I know first hand how the slightest suspicion is dealt with
on airline flights.
A few years ago, I was on a NW/KLM flight from Amsterdam
to Memphis.
There was a small kid, maybe age 8, in the center section, just a few seats behind me.
The kid was turning around and making faces or something to
an Arab looking guy several more seats back. The Arab was part of a group of four or five, not all sitting together.

The Arab took a piece paper and printed “boom boom”, or something to that effect, and held it up for the kid to see.
When the plane landed, there was an announcement for everyone to stay seated when the plane parked at the gate.
“US marshals will be boarding”.
Four big scraping guys, looking very serious, came marching up the aisles, picking out the Arabs and taking them off.

It was in the paper the next morning.
They were detained for some time, and maybe overnight, before they were allowed to take a connecting flight.

21 posted on 12/04/2009 1:01:42 AM PST by AlexW (Now in the Philippines . Happy not to be back in the USA for now.)
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To: TigersEye

I would not trust “Snopes” run by a couple of LIBS

22 posted on 12/04/2009 1:07:12 AM PST by saintgermaine
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Probably a bunch of Muslims trying to gin up a lawsuit for some cash, I cant imagine real terrorists would be so stupid as to create a scene.

23 posted on 12/04/2009 1:19:22 AM PST by Husker24
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To: Husker24

They were probably hoping the airline wouldn’t let them back on so they could try and sue the airline.

24 posted on 12/04/2009 1:23:06 AM PST by Husker24
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To: StolarStorm

Well, Snopes isn’t the Bible, and they have been wrong or misleading before. Read what they have to say about Algore’s famous Internet statement. They are clearly twisting facts and omitting important details to stick up for him.

25 posted on 12/04/2009 1:23:14 AM PST by LifeComesFirst (
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The rich Eyeranians in Atlanta and Philistinian Government employees and students around Texas universities have been known to be more special than the rest of us for quite a few years now. The suckups in orderly rooms and agency offices don’t want to hear about them.

26 posted on 12/04/2009 1:57:19 AM PST by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote)
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To: familyop

FAA to investigate cell phone use on Atlanta flight

By Alexis Stevens and Kristi Swartz
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

8:41 p.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating what led to the two-and-a-half hour delay of a Tuesday flight from Atlanta to Houston, an agency spokeswoman said Wednesday morning.

An AirTran spokesman said a man traveling with a group Tuesday afternoon refused to turn his cell phone off before takeoff. But the woman sitting behind the man said it wasn’t a phone at all, and feels the entire incident was the result of poor communication.

“He was not talking on a cell phone, it was a camera,” said Nancy Deveikis of Marietta. “He was looking at pictures.”

A flight attendant asked the man twice to turn off the device, Deveikis said. But it was clear the man did not speak English, she said. Although the man was traveling with others, the rest of the group was seated throughout the plane.

When the man did not respond to the flight attendant, she took the camera from him, Deveikis said. Deveikis, who presented with her boarding pass for the flight, said she watched the exchange from directly behind the man in seat 28A and the female flight attendant.

“She grabbed it from his hand and basically said I’ll be holding this until you get off the plane,”Deveikis said.

It’s unclear whether he was talking on the phone, snapping photos or texting, AirTran spokesman Christopher White said. But to airline officials and flight attendants, it didn’t matter. The Boeing 717 had pulled away from the gate, and the phone was on, White said.

“Flight attendants were telling him, ‘Turn off the phone, turn off the phone,’” White said.

“We can’t taxi with the cell phone on, and we certainly can’t take off,” White said. “Language barrier or not, you start to butt up against interfering with a flight crew.”

Deveikis said she never heard the one flight attendant use the word “phone” when speaking to the man.

“Passengers are required to follow instructions of the flight attendants,” regional FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said. AirTran reported the incident to the FAA, Bergen said. The federal Transportation Security Administration will not handle the incident, saying it is a customer-service issue between the passenger and the airline, a TSA spokesman said.

Houston-bound Flight 297 was scheduled to leave Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport at 4:40 p.m. Tuesday. But the pilot decided to return the plane back to the gate, and the man and the group he was traveling with were asked to exit the plane.

Another person in the group – someone who could speak English – got off as well to act as an interpreter, White said.

So, why didn’t he leave his seat to help in the first place?

“He told flight attendants that he could have helped during the taxi time, but he didn’t want to get up,” as passengers are to be seated at that time, White said.

Deveikis said the flight attendant who took the phone told other members of the group, “If you’re English-speaking, then maybe you should get off the plane, too.”

Another flight attendant, Deveikis said, was in tears as she left the plane following the incident. A new crew later returned to fly the plane, she said.

AirTran gave the 72 other passengers on the plane the option to stay on that flight or switch to another one without paying any fees, White said. Of the remaining passengers on the plane, 12 decided to take another flight.

The 11 others in the 13-passenger group got back on the plane, which took off for Houston, White said. TSA officials spoke to the man with the electronic device as well as the other person who was acting as an interpreter, and they took a later flight to Houston, White said.

Deveikis said she remembers the original members of the group reboarding.

Deveikis, who often flies to Houston for business, chose to remain on the flight. She said the man with the camera and his entire group reboarded the plane. The whole incident, which scared other passengers who weren’t clear what was happening, could have easily been avoided.

“Just one flight attendant snowed everyone into believing she had an irate passenger,” Deveikis said.

Still, airline officials contend the right action was taken.

“It’s a fine line that we have to play,” White said. “Is there any safety or security reason to bring the plane back? Yes, there was a safety reason.”

White declined to identify the passenger. No charges were filed. And, for AirTran, the case is closed.

“Once we determine there is no other problem, it’s our responsibility to get everyone back on and get the plane taken off as quickly as we can,” White said.

Staff writer Megan Matteucci contributed to this report.

27 posted on 12/04/2009 2:08:53 AM PST by BubbaJunebug (s)
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Thank you for the ping Starwise.

28 posted on 12/04/2009 3:02:06 AM PST by Cindy
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To: StolarStorm
Have them look at Wikipedia. is run by a man and wife. Two people. The very idea that they have the resources to validate definitively whether something is true or not is shaky at best.

Wikipedia says they're apolitical, but you might note that, the same folks who "affirmed" BO's BC are the ones that tell us they're apolitical. EVERYBODY is political. The Communist Democrats in this country have made sure that no one can ignore politics any more.

29 posted on 12/04/2009 4:21:03 AM PST by Hardastarboard (Maureen Dowd is right. I DON'T like our President's color. He's a Red.)
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Petruna said the 11 men were taken off the plane, but then allowed back on, angering the crew and some passengers.

Political Correctness protects them. They're a left wing voting block, and they donate.
I'm sure the Oboma administration would like to keep this little incident a non-event. It could interfere with campaign contributions.

30 posted on 12/04/2009 4:44:57 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: StolarStorm

To convince them otherwise, show them the Smopes DISINFORMAYION on the Hussein Obama Birth Certificate controversy!

31 posted on 12/04/2009 4:57:30 AM PST by 2harddrive
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To: 2harddrive
LOL. Yeah, they call those people birthers. Its a local community website filled with big time liberals. I go their for local issues, and occasional to rebute the idiots.

We even have one guy I've battled for days now who seems to think that the Taliban are just misunderstood and that I am an ignorant American for condemning them. Look under the political tab (there are two tabs, a main one and a political one).
32 posted on 12/04/2009 5:50:13 AM PST by StolarStorm
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To: 2harddrive


I wonder about other fact check websites?;

33 posted on 12/04/2009 6:22:09 AM PST by KeyLargo
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Another Passenger Confirms AirTran Flt. 297 Dry Run
34 posted on 12/04/2009 9:24:44 AM PST by Moe Tzadik
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Were there any sky marshalls on board or does Sarah Brady allow them anymore???

35 posted on 12/04/2009 9:37:42 AM PST by Waco (Stay as bootiful as ya are Karvile.)
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To: Moe Tzadik

Thank you.

36 posted on 12/04/2009 9:42:44 AM PST by STARWISE (They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter)
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Were there any sky marshalls on board or does Sarah Brady allow them anymore???

37 posted on 12/04/2009 9:43:21 AM PST by Waco (Stay as bootiful as ya are Karvile.)
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You're welcome. One more...

Security incident aboard AirTran Flight 297 suggests terror “Dry Run”

38 posted on 12/04/2009 10:03:53 AM PST by Moe Tzadik
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To: nahanrac

More info on the Atlanta-Houston flt...

39 posted on 12/04/2009 10:15:46 AM PST by lilycicero
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To: saintgermaine

Thanks. I don’t trust Snopes at all.

40 posted on 12/04/2009 11:30:46 AM PST by TigersEye (Sarah Palin 2010 - We Can't Afford To Wait)
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