Society

Passenger Removed From Flight For Writing About Terrorism

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

An Australian man was ejected from his flight and blacklisted by the airline after another passenger complained that he scribbled in his notebook “Terrorismadeup.”

Oliver Buckworth, 28, boarded a Tigerair flight Saturday morning from Melbourne to the Gold Coast when he wrote in his notebook: "land of melting ice-creams, sandy feet and fluffy bears, how could anyone be fearful of terrorism.”

He says the passenger next to him alerted the flight attendant, "Look what he's writing." Buckworth says, "I turned to him and said 'Yes, look what I'm writing. Read the whole sentence. I'm just writing some notes.’"

He was removed the plane by the Australian Federal Police and later released.

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"My concern is what it looked like to the rest of the people on the plane,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I did tell them as I was leaving, 'I'm not a criminal. This man simply took something out of context that I was writing in my book. Just so you know and this whole fear thing isn't instilled even further.'”

"The irony is I was writing a sentence about the absurdity of the fear mongering when we live in such a happy country of ice-cream and beaches and fluffy things,” he said.

He called Tigerair’s reaction “ridiculous” after he learned it had “blacklisted” him for an indeterminate time.

The airline says it has a zero tolerance policy regarding threats to passenger safety.

“Safety and security of staff and passengers underpins the operation at all times and is never compromised,” a Tigerair spokesman said. “As per Tigerair’s conditions of carriage, the airline may refuse passengers to travel for reasons of safety or security and this may include the enforcement of future travel bans.”

“As the matter was dealt with by the AFP and is subject to further review by Tigerair, we are unable to comment further at this time,” he said.

Sources: New York Daily News, Sydney Morning Herald

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Marijn de Vries Hoogerwerff