LaGuardia Terminal Evacuated When Man Falsely Claims He Has Bomb After Argument Over $50 Bag Check Fee

The New York Daily News reports:

A traveler furious over a $50 bag check fee at LaGuardia Airport claimed to have a bomb Saturday morning β€” prompting an evacuation and flight diversions, Port Authority police said.

The man was checking in at a Spirit Airlines counter in Terminal B around 7 a.m. when he was told it would cost him $50 to check his bag. The traveler refused to pay the fee. After arguing with the ticket agent, the man stormed off leaving the bag behind.

When the ticket agent said he couldn’t abandon the bag, the furious traveler claimed there was a bomb inside. He was taken into custody while the Bomb Squad looked through his bag. His name was not immediately released and charges were pending.

Flights were diverted away from Terminal B and several screening checkpoints and pre-security areas were closed and evacuated for two hours. Many travelers complained little or no information was given out during the evacuations, sparking mass confusion.

  • MBear

    $50 a bag is terrorism

  • bkmn

    Lock the major asshole up.

    • David Walker

      Do you mean this near-passenger or 45?

      • JAKvirginia

        Why can’t we do both?

      • bkmn


    • 2guysnamedjoe

      He’s loud, threatening, and he incites chaos. He’s on the short list for a pardon.

  • PickyPecker

    Get a brian, moran.

  • Bluto

    Fees are infuriating but this is bullshit. How many people did his tantrum inconvenience, how many hundreds of thousands of dollars did this cost the port & airlines? Bill him the full cost, plus the goddamn fucking $50.

    • bambinoitaliano
    • Reality.Bites

      Pretty sure he’s facing criminal charges and a long (permanent?) stay on the no-fly list.

      However he shouldn’t have to pay the $50. He didn’t end up taking his flight.

      • margaretpoa

        He’s an idiot. That’s how discount airlines make their money. What they “save” on the ticket price quickly evaporates under the “fees”.

        • Reality.Bites

          Who doesn’t charge for luggage on domestic flights these days?

          • Ben in Oakland

            Southwest. Jet blue.

          • eupnrth8

            Nope, now it’s just Southwest. JetBlue started charging for a checked bag recently.

          • margaretpoa

            LMAO! No idea! I haven’t flown since 2006 and then the company paid my airfare.

    • narutomania

      Exactly. The idiot really saved himself the inconvenience of that $50 fee, didn’t he?

      • Mike__in_Houston

        Well, using Spirit Airlines was his first mistake. I wouldn’t fly them again if they paid me to.

        • teeveedub

          What they lack in amenities they make up for with the nastiness of their employees.

    • teeveedub

      I agree completely with everything you said. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed to have threatened an airline with a bomb.

      That said, I knew before reading the full post just from the headline that it had to be the piece of shit known as Spirit Airlines.

  • CanuckDon

    Moral of the story: watch what you say in a fit of anger.

    • Harley

      Don’t fuck with the airline ladies ever.

  • TrueWords

    I wonder if this will count as Domestic Terrorism; because killing 59 people and injuring over 500 sure did not…maybe he is just a lone wolf howling into the night.

  • netxtown

    when i used to fly for the job – it would piss me off to no end to have some asshole with their carry-on would pitch a fit when it wouldn’t fit in the overhead. Of course no one told him that just cuz he got it ‘closed’ when he packed it didnt mean it was within the regs.

    Or! the asshole who won’t use the ‘one bag free’ at check-in – and then whine there is no room for his two bags in the overhead….

    • netxtown

      I forgot – ms businesswoman whose got 750 pounds of shit in a carryon she can hardly pull – and that takes 3 grown men to put in the overhead.

    • juanjo54

      I think we were on some of the same flights.

    • Mike__in_Houston

      Flying is not cheap. It always amazes me that people will pay the high prices for flying, and then quibble over bag check fees, or, when they go to park their cars, park on the roof and let their cars bake in the sun for several days or more, rather than just park in covered parking for a few dollars more each day.

      I just got back from a round-trip flight to Newark that I ended up changing six times after I made the original reservation to accommodate people who needed me for this or that on certain dates and times. That happens to me sometimes but nothing like this time.

      I have no choice but to fly Southwest which is the only airline–if I am wrong, I’m more than willing to be corrected–that doesn’t charge to change flights. If Southwest ever starts charging for that service, then I’ll just go with the airline that has the best schedule, and everybody else will have to start accommodating my schedule, because I’m not going to pay $150 and upward to change a flight. Nice work if you can get it…

    • ISTlife

      Sounds like my average work day.
      “Excuse me, I don’t think that bag will…”
      “YES IT WILL, it fit on my last flight”
      Seconds later I’m watching them try to cram it into a space physically impossible to fit into.

      Does eye-rolling count as cardio?

  • justmeeeee

    When you buy a ticket on Spirit, you get what you want but in the form that you deserve.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Well that was stooopid.

  • netxtown

    I still think there should be trap doors at the ticket counter…..

    • Bluto

      And at the grocery, every checkout, DMV, food counters, political podiums…..

      • JAKvirginia

        But at the DMV it should be behind the counter and YOU get to push the button.

        • GeoffreyPS

          Maybe both sides at dmv. I was behind someone who wanted a “cute photo” who was an absolute nightmare. In Washington state they now take biometric readings with the photo. You HAVE to look straight forward, no glasses, hair out of the way. This chick kept refusing to follow instructions. Took 15+ tries to get a photo wth pepper biometrics because she kept trying to pose. Then she insisted on a retake. DENIED (thank god!). In the mean time i can feel myself aging.

  • Bob_Barnes

    Another one of those people who don’t know the downside of the mega discount airlines. You booked a really cheap flight that has you paying fees out the ying yang.

    • Mike__in_Houston

      When I saw them charging somebody to borrow a blanket–not to mention charging for a soda–I said “no more.”

  • Rebecca Gardner

    We are all frustrated by the state of air travel in this country, but come on, even an infant knows that in the Hyper-Paranoid States of America there is no sense of humor about such things. Even if everyone in a 100 miles radius knows you are joking they cannot simply ignore it. That is not the world we live in anymore.

    As for the checked-bag fee. I really could care less about that. When you consider how cheap flying has become another 25, 50, or 75 bucks for a bag(s) is really no big deal. Flying First Class from NYC-SFO and back is now under $1000. Remember air fares in the 70s and 80s? Flying today has become the equivalent of grabbing a Greyhound bus but with a good view. Cough up the 50 bucks for Christ’s Sake!

    • JAKvirginia

      And read the fucking website!

      • Rebecca Gardner

        LOL! True. The airlines make it extremely clear about additional fees. It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone. Heck, I always check in online and if I have more bags to check-in then the complimentary amount they give in 1st-Class I pay for it online while checking in. This “moran” knew he was going to get hit with a bag fee and turned a non-issue into a complete mess.

    • bambinoitaliano

      And back in the days those who can afford to fly were seen as the privilege, the well educated and civilized passengers and hence tend to behave accordingly and not make a scene. This day and age its quite the opposite. It’s a norm to witness emotional outburst even in a fast food restaurants. For a couple of generations we have told kids not keep their feelings inside and not be afraid to express them. Express they did. Social media, you tube, reality shows, talk shows and public places.

      • Rebecca Gardner

        So true. Part of me misses those days of flying. I still get dressed up to fly. I don’t go over the top, but I always wear nice pants or skirt, a cute top, and heels. Nowadays people are boarding and they look like they just rolled out of bed and onto the plane.

      • JAKvirginia

        And then came the deaths of “Please” and “Thank You” and “You’re Welcome” was replaced with “No Problem”.

        • vorpal 😼

          I say please and thank you all the time, but fail to see why “no problem” is any less valid than “you’re welcome.”

          When I say, “No problem!” I am saying, “It was not a problem or inconvenience in the slightest.” How is that not polite? Because it’s not traditional?

          • JAKvirginia

            As a personal response to a friend that’s fine but in business it comes off as arrogant and dismissive. My thought has usually been “It’s nice to know you doing your job assisting me has not been a problem for you.” Wouldn’t you prefer a nice “Your Welcome” with the thoughtfull addition of “And thank you for shopping/flying/staying with us.” instead?

          • vorpal 😼

            Understood. I guess I take for granted that my job doesn’t require any professional interaction and the relationship with my superiors is a very casual one (based on the nature of many of us being expats and thus being friends of cultural convenience).

            I can appreciate in a formal or professional situation that “no problem” comes across as too casual.

          • GeoffreyPS

            Some people are constantly apologizing. I find “no problem” to be a quick response to friends and coworkers (one off mine is the queen of “I’m sorry” to the point that the phrase can be filler in a conversation). In a customer service setting maybe instead go with “I’m happy I could help.” Or similar phrasing that is appropriate to the situation.

          • Elsewhere1010

            If you’re being literal it’s because saying “no problem” indicates you thought there was indeed a problem, but that you’re alright with it, that it doesn’t bother you. How wonderful of you.

            It’s another phrase that’s losing it’s meaning and becoming verbal shorthand, much like “How are you?” isn’t really a request for a report on your health.

          • vorpal 😼

            I hear what you’re saying, but I think you’re inferring things from “no problem” that go beyond a literal interpretation. When I say, “No problem,” I literally and simply mean that there was not a problem without some underlying assumption that I suspected that there might have been one.

            You’re right, though: most of these phrases are just memorized and habitual platitudes. For example, as a Canadian, I have been trained to blurt out, “Sorry!” in any unexpected and sensitive situation, even if I did nothing that merited an apology on my part. (For example, I know many Canadians who, when someone cuts us off with their shopping cart in a grocery store, will instinctively apologize to the person who committed the act. People looked at me strangely in Hawaii for always being so apologetic – I suspect they thought it was meant in a passive-aggressive way, which it wasn’t at all.)

            I think if someone we barely know answered a, “How are you?” or, “How’s it going?” with a genuine and extended answer, most of us would be either a little horrified or amused. We just expect the complementary, “Good,” or, “Not bad,” or what have you, and to move on.

        • canoebum

          The loss of common courtesy is to be lamented. It may be that the country is just too large and overpopulated. If you look at smaller countries and especially island nations, you’ll find better manners and a higher degree of respectfulness. Also, the coarsening of society has been accelerated by television (think Jerry Springer) and social media, where it is so easy to be rude or hateful behind a veil of anonymity. Lastly, lazy or outright bad parenting is leaving us with a society of selfish and spiteful citizens.

        • vorpal 😼

          Addendum: in fact, if you think about it, the phrases in many other languages that are considered equivalent to, “You’re welcome,” are actually more accurately translated to, “Of nothing,” such as the “de rien” of French and the “de nada” of Spanish.

    • vorpal 😼

      Here in Chile, it’s actually less expensive for me (provided I book in advance) to fly from my city to Santiago and back than to take the bus… I can get prices under $50 for the return trip, and only have to deal with an hour of flight time as opposed to a 5+ hour bus ride.

      The websites for the airlines, though, make it extremely clear through diagrams at the time of online purchase exactly what the luggage restrictions are for each tiered ticket price, and require you to acknowledge that you know what you are buying. I doubt that that is something that the majority of US airlines do.

      • joeyj1220

        it amazes me, as well, to see people looking like they have packed every single thing they own. There was once this guy in front of me who asked that the airline not charge him baggage fee. He had three HUGE suitcases bulging at the seams and each wrapped in straps just to keep them closed.

        • Whole family is moving. The others are bicycling.

    • ISTlife

      I would suggest that it hasn’t been acceptable for at LEAST 25 years.
      I remember back when dinosaurs (called 727s, and DC10s) roamed the earth, and having passengers removed by the police because they made “jokes” about bombs in bags.

      I flew Spirit ONCE between Vegas and Los Angeles. That was enough.
      I did find it amusing that checking a bag that was too big to bring on board, at the gate was $100. (As opposed to $50 at the counter, or less when you purchased your ticket). They are, in my opinion, doing things right in that department.

    • Lars Littlefield

      In 1969 a friend was seeing me off at the SLC airport. Even in those days there were restrictions to allow only passengers at the gates. He was watching a man in front of us be questioned and my friend flippantly said out loud “He’s probably carrying a bomb.” My friend was swept away by police before he knew what was happening and spent that night and following day in jail. I, however, still made my flight.

  • S1AMER

    Definition of “insanity”: Speaking the word “bomb” at any airport.

    • Harley

      BONG!!! HE SAID BONG!!!!

      • Goodboy

        Yeah, can I film it? That would be all kinds of funny.

    • Goodboy

      I had a friend make a joke about having a bomb in his bag to the ticket agent. My jaw dropped when I heard him say that. She didn’t say anything. Just stepped away and 2 security guys came. They took him in a room and strip searched him and banned him from ever flying Southwest Airlines again. He comes out of the room. Don’t say a word! Yeah, right. Couldn’t wait to tell everyone.

      Of coarse this was 1998 so it could’ve been much worse for him.

  • liondon#iamnotatraitor

    Was he wearing a MAGA hat?

  • bcarter3

    β€œSorry, Mr. Secretary. I know it was different when you were using government jets, but Spirit charges extra when you check your bags.”

  • Ken M

    Great. Now they can spend the next month determining his “motives.”

  • David Walker

    TOTALLY OT. A quote from that independent Russian newspaper:

    In Moscow, in the midst of budgetary suffering. Not only the prospects for defense spending are being decided, but soon the program of rearmament must be approved before 2025. The situation is fatal: all summer at various meetings, Vladimir Putin promised to cut defense expenses substantially within the framework of an extremely rigid budget. Many seriously thought that the “war party” was defeated, but it was not there. The General Staff has the right means: repeatedly inflating external (American) threats or inventing non-existent ones.

    For the past 35 years, the most violent military-state hysteria has been linked to a promising US missile defense system, with SDI or Star Wars of Ronald Reagan. Also, along the perimeter of the borders, the enemy is secretly forming the strike groups. In 2017, the Ministry of Defense conducts military exercises in Taimyr, builds a base on Wrangel Island, where previously polar bears lived alone, and is also deploying a coastal defense division in Chukotka. And all this happiness due to the reduction of education, medicine, real pensions and social benefits.

    The parenthetical America is the writer’s, not mine. Ask the google or any service you use for a translation.

    • boatboy_srq

      Interesting how the “external (American)” threat is real (if exaggerated) while the others are invented. Almost as if Putin needs a Donny Warmonger to push his agenda at home as much as he needs him fracturing the West.

      • BobSF_94117

        Putin’s oligarchy is built on weapons, oil, and drugs. I don’t mean pharmaceuticals.

  • Spirit Airlines? Say no more.

  • BeaverTales

    Manbabies are becoming a thing. I’ve dated a few, but I erroneously concluded that they are rare.

    • BeaverTales

      Apologies for the double post

    • Reality.Bites

      I had something similar happen in real life, although the boy wasn’t behaving badly. Just was getting my blood pressure checked in the pharmacy section, and saw a young man, with a much younger son than this (maybe 3-4?), browsing in the condom section.

    • worstcultever

      I WANT THOSE SWEETIES!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Todd20036

        I want the “daddy”.

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        That’s what the husbotter screams at me sometimes πŸ˜‰

        • Ben in Oakland

          How is he doing now?

          • Jean-Marc in Canada

            He’s doing great, he still goes to therapy and follow ups but he’s pretty much out of the woods. Back to his normal deviant and obedient self. πŸ™‚

          • Ben in Oakland

            Good to hear. I’d love to have a husband that does what he’s told.

    • perversatile

      This one feels like a page from my family album-

    • Ben in Oakland


  • The airlines are the worst, but claiming to have a bomb, even as a joke is stupid. Security can’t and shouldn’t laugh off such a statement.

  • Harveyrabbit

    See? Now that’s what I recommend anyone do whenever they’re getting a hard time or even a bit of lip from someone. An airport employee is one of the best ones to threaten with a bomb or a hidden gun or even a knife but department store clerks, telephone operators, delivery people, bodega clerks, hell… anyone! There will never be any consequences and those annoying assholes you’re threatening will know you’re the boss and just do whatever it is your yelling at them to do as they should have from the beginning without you having to escalate it to a higher level of insistence.

    Just let everyone and anyone know you have a bomb and plan to use it and you’ll suddenly see many of life’s opportunities open up right before your very eyes!

    • Reality.Bites

      How long have you been special advisor to the president?

      • Harveyrabbit

        Ever since I stopped taking my anti-psychotic drugs.

  • TexasBoy

    These clowns that are doing this for attention need to pay damages to every passenger that they inconvenience. That would stop a lot of it.

  • Lawerence Collins

    There was an actual thwarted last week. It was another radicalized white terrorist. He claimed he was preparing for civil war. Here on American soil. So far this has only been covered by independent media.

  • SilasMarner

    Well, that will show those folks at Spirit Airlines. Bet you won’t try and charge him $50 for checked luggage again! Bwaahahahaha, dumbass!

  • JWC

    That is one thing that you do not joke about at an ariport. I have seen many times when some happy go lucky jerk said that and it was always the look of absolute bewildement and shock as he was dragged away

    • Reality.Bites

      Oddly enough the only joke of that nature I’ve experienced came from a homeland security agent. Or whoever you speak to these days before being allowed officially into the US.

      I had my then-new iPhone 7+ in piano black. After asking the usual questions he asked if it was the new iPhone. I said yes, and he said “It looks like a weapon,” meaning it looked so thin and throwable, I think.

      So I said the only thing I could think of, whispering, “I don’t think we’re supposed to talk like this at the airport.”

      • JWC

        I would assume that you were baited. Setting you up to give the “wrong answer” In Hitlers day they were called “brown shirts’

        • Reality.Bites

          A middle-aged Canadian man boarding a plane in Toronto and enrolled in NEXUS?

          No, he was fanboying over new tech.

          • JWC

            Oh ok

      • kevin vincent

        Well in the hands of Naomi Campbell it’d be considered a deadly weapon

    • Tulle Christensen

      yes and if you see your friend Jack at the airport to not tell him “Hi”

      • JWC

        Precisely Maybe a discreet hello

    • BobSF_94117

      Back in the more innocent mid-70s, my friends decided to meet my flight coming back from summer break after freshman year. My roomie, with whom I had a sexless BDSM relationship, thought it would be a hoot to show up in full biker gang mode, complete with a billy club. Once we had driven me to the dorm and I’d unpacked — about seven hours later — we drove back to the airport to pick him up from their little jail.

      • JWC

        As young whelps crossing into the state of Idaho ( younger drinking age) when asked by the US customs “Our purpose” always responded “to shoot the president” Never no more

  • Tom G

    This guy should never be allowed to fly again.

    • Vira

      Worse: He should be forced to fly once a week.

  • Elsewhere1010

    I would love to see his face, either during the trial or when he’s presented with the bill for closing down an airport.

    • DaddyRay

      I am also guessing he can be sued by people who missed flights or connections to cruise ships

  • DaddyRay

    I am sure when they found out he didn’t have a bomb they all just laughed and laughed and sent him on his way

    • DaddyRay

      Sorry I thought we were talking about someone in the Trump family

  • goofy_joe

    He was wrong, and I don’t condone his actions. However, the airlines are becoming so greedy with their fees it often costs more with taxes/fees/baggage than the actual ticket. Flying doesn’t have to be pleasant, but it feels like the airlines are going out of their way to make it uncomfortable.

    They know they can, because the whole industry is doing it so people won’t have any other options.

    • Natty Enquirer

      Take a bus. Take a train. Skype. Don’t give the airlines a profit if you don’t like the way they do business.

      • goofy_joe

        I can’t tell if you’re trying to provoke me or agreeing with me…

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      My sense is that they have lowered their ticket prices to attract as many customers as possible. They make up the difference in the fees. And it always amazes me people will take a cheaper flight that lands at an airport further away from the center of town and then spend more on getting from the airport to their destination in town then it would’ve cost to fly to an airport closer. Case in point, people would rather fly to Dulles airport or Baltimore Washington airport than to fly directly into National airport because flights into national airport tend to be a little bit more expensive. Then they spend about $90 to get from the airport to town. Rather than $15 on a cab.

    • Deviancy Behavir

      A good portion of our travel is made online, either on the discount travel websites or the airline website itself. The passenger knew what the fees would be upfront, especially when it comes to spirit airlines. They spell out not only what size bag you can use for carry on, they also make you confirm on a screen that you don’t have any bags over a certain width at least once. Then before you finish purchasing they ask again if you have any bags that need to be checked, because the price goes up if you do it at the airport. And most of these airlines do the same thing, you either pay for a more expensive ticket or get socked with other fees, but people know upfront what they’re getting. That’s why I don’t feel bad for them at all.

  • Natty Enquirer

    Gonna cost a lot more than $50 now.

    • BobSF_94117

      ~ 1 year for every dollar he saved…

  • Andymac3

    Airlines fees are annoying, but they aren’t a surprise, and as frustrated as I have been in airports, the last thing I want to do is make the airport stay any longer or more stressful. I’ve spent many hours watching airline staff deal with hundreds of passengers and endless queues and wonder why they even want to come back to work the next day.

    Having a hissy fit, not taking your bag back, declaring you have a bomb? Grow the fuck up and read the airline ticket emails before you get there, shit head.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Oooooh, that’s going to cost you buddy.

    • motordog

      Bet he’d like to pay 50 bucks now to just put this behind him.

  • KnownDonorDad

    Wow, you never, ever say that, not even in jest. If you’re that upset by luggage fees, fly Southwest.

  • Macbill

    The disgruntled passenger should be glad that thoughts can’t kill, ’cause so many wished it.

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    He left his bag? No wonder he didn’t want to pay $50 for it. Probably dirty underwear.

  • JCF

    Two guesses as to color of said man, and (likely) whom he voted for.

  • Ben in Oakland

    We simply refuse to even consider Spirit. They advertise a price of $100, but by the time you get on the plane, the price is $200. I hate this crap.

  • Gianni

    Imagine if the punishment for doing that is handed out immediately by throwing the dude to the crowds of customers whom he has inconvenienced and frightened. The only thing remaining to do would be clean up of body parts.

  • grada3784

    So he saved 50 bucks. I guess his time isn’t worth too much.

  • Sporkfighter

    I’ll bet this cost him more than $50.

  • RaygunsGoZap

    When we traveled to LA last month, I stupidly placed my iPhone on top of a suitcase after it set off the scanner. I WAS stoned but also all the bins were on the wrong side and everyone was chatting except the guy barking at me to move. Anyway of course, it got swept off into the scanner interior chamber and of course TSA treated me like I was nuts when I was saying β€œmy iPhone is in there”. It was surreal how one was saying β€œthat didn’t happen” and β€œthat’s such an unlikely scenario”. Finally, I took my partners phone and used Find My iPhone to make an alarm blare on my phone. Ya know, inside the machine. Then, it took me saying β€œDo you not hear that beeping that started the moment I said it would?” They had to get a lead over to β€œdeal with me”. She had my phone in 10 seconds and I was on my way. Crazy, right?

  • Kevin Perez

    First mistake, booking a flight on Spirit Air.
    Don’t do that!
    Second mistake, LaGuardia.
    Joe Biden says it’s worse than Mogadishu International and he travels on AmTrak.
    Third mistake, temper at the airport.
    Although you can’t check your baggage for free, you can check your temper for free.

    Enjoy Rikers Island douche canoe. I only wish the chairman of Spirit Airlines was going with you.

  • Stubenville

    Gee, I cannot imagine how this will end, said nobody, ever.

  • The Milkman

    Well to be fair, Spirit’s fees are ludicrous. But a bomb threat? Girl needs to have a cocktail and get a grip.

  • Whatever happened to the joy of flying and freedom of speech LOL.

    “I’m grateful that over 70% resisted casting their vote for the inhumane tyrant who also lost the popular vote by millions.”
    One Little Word ~ RESIST

  • Paul

    Weird how this makes headlines but a guy actually leaving a bomb at an airport is hardly mentioned.

  • Was he inspired by the movie Money Monster?