Air France Pilot Talks Trash To Screeners, Grounds Flight
Even Jerry Lewis, France's favorite
American comedian, would have flinched at this one. For the second
time in three months, an Air France crew member's mouth landed him
in hot water at Kennedy Airport.
The latest incident happened Friday night as Flight 23 was about
to depart JFK for Paris. The unnamed captain was already on board
the flight when he got word that his bag had set off an alarm as it
was passed through security. The captain got off the flight, went
to the security checkpoint and opened his big mouth.
"During the course of their inspection, the pilot made several
comments which included references to the airplane blowing up, him
blowing up and the story ending up on the front page of the New
York Times," said TSA spokeswoman Amy von Walter. "Our screeners
followed standard operating procedure and notified Port Authority
The flight was cancelled. The pilot was detained. But for some
reason, after the New York/New Jersey Port Authority checked with
the District Attorney's office in Queens, no charges were
Back on August 8th, Air France
copilot Phillipe Riviere was going through security when, for some
unknown reason, he mouthed off to screeners that he had explosives
in his shoes. They locked him up. He's due in court Monday, where
he faces up to seven years in the slammer if convicted on charges
of filing a false report.
In Friday's episode, the pilot spent the night in a Manhattan
hotel and was to return Saturday as an Air France passenger. He may
be out of the woods as far as the Queens DA is concerned, but he
could still be disciplined by the airline.
Most of the 270 or so passengers and crew were flown out on
other airlines Friday night. The rest made it to Paris on Saturday.
All because of some flip remark.
In statement released last night, the airline acknowledged an
"exchange at the airport between a crew member and TSA.
"From the beginning, Air France's primary concern was our
passengers," the statement said. "All of them . . . were assisted
in getting to their final destination. The inquiry has been
completed with the full cooperation of Air France and its
Maybe, as the New York Post suggests, they should call Air
France... Air Farce.