'The captain said he understood a few passengers were very concerned and wanted to get off the plane'
A Thomson flight this week was grounded because of concerns over a Wi-Fi hotspot named “Jihadi London”.
The aircraft, which was due to fly from Cancun to London Gatwick on Tuesday afternoon, had to be evacuated after a passenger spotted the network and reported it to the crew.
Security and police were then called on board to check the plane, and the flight was eventually rescheduled.
The incident took place amid heightened global concern over terrorism, with the Manchester bombing having happened on Monday night.
The person behind the hotspot name did not come forward.
“The captain said he understood a few passengers were very concerned and wanted to get off the plane but to bear with him,” one of the passengers, Carey Middleton, told Get Surrey.
“After about another 20 to 30 minutes, he said the company's security team had security checked all passengers and deemed there was no risk. By this time, babies and children were crying and they'd had to refuel the aircraft, etc.
“Although the captain said he wouldn't fly unless he was 100% sure it was safe, and he felt it was okay after the extra security checks, some passengers still wanted to leave. As they needed to unload their baggage, this then put the crew over their mandatory hours and we were unable to fly.”
The passengers had to go back through security to reclaim their baggage, and reportedly saw armed police and “army guys” with sniffer dogs in the terminal.
They were put up overnight, and the flight was moved to the following day.
“We would like to apologise to our customers who were delayed, due to a potential security concern raised before take-off, on Tuesday May 23 on TOM039 from Cancun to London Gatwick,” said Thomson Airways.
“A full security check took place as a precautionary measure on the aircraft and we made arrangements to reschedule the flight and return customers home as quickly as possible.”