When it comes to airline safety policies and regulations, no one is exempted. Not even age nor career/calling is considered. This was what happened last May 10 when a 69-year old priest disobeyed his cabin crew on putting his hand carry under the seat and cracked a statement regarding a bomb. This eventually led to his arrest and temporary detention, which all resulted to a 4-hour delay, inconveniencing hundreds of passengers.
As reported by The Daily Guadian, the priest was aboard a Philippine Airlines flight 2546 from Dumaguete bound for Manila. One of the cabin crew requested the priest to transfer his hand-carry under the seat as part of a safety procedure, which the latter refused to follow. The cabin crew was then insisting it be placed under the seat as part of the airline's regulation that all carry-on must be under the seat or inside the overhead compartment, but the priest then went on to say "don't be alarmed, it's only food, and not a bomb."
The cabin crew then notified the lead crew and pilots about the priests statements which prompted the pilots to radio air traffic control to call for police assistance.
The passengers were immediately evacuated out of the aircraft for police inspection, while the priest, the cabin crew and his leadr were called for questioning by police and officials from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
The inspection later turned up negative for explosives, although, the priest is facing charges for violating Republic Act 9497 or the Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2008 for refusing to obey safety instructions from the aircraft cabin crew.
The safety and security of all passengers are a top priority of all airlines around the world. Safety and security can never be sacrificed in exchange of punctuality or comfort.
Any statement involving bombs or explosives, regardless if it is a joke or not, is taken seriously by authorities for the safety and security of all passengers. It is best adviced not to crack a single bomb joke or any statement involving the carriage of bombs as under Presidential Decree 1727, anyone found to crack bomb jokes can either be fined P40,000, meted a five-year prison sentence, or both.
Airports and airline tickets already have printed warnings that bomb jokes or any bomb statements will be dealt by authorities seriously.
Republic Act 9497 Chapter XI Sec. 81 clause 9 hereby states that Any person who, while on board an aircraft, interferes with a crewmember's or flight attendant's performance of their duties, assaults, intimidates, or threatens any crewmember or flight attendant, shall be subjected to imprisonment from one (1) year to three (3) years or a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (Php50,000.00) but not exceeding Five hundred thousand pesos (Php500,000.00), or both, as determined by the court.