An Air Canada (ADH2) flight was canceled on March 8, 2022 after some passengers received alleged bomb threats via an Airdrop instant message.
Flight AC1297 was scheduled to depart Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to Montreal and was still on the tarmac of Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) when some passengers began to receive requests to accept an Airdrop message on their iPhones.
Airdrop is a feature on iOS and macOS operating systems and phones, where file transfers can be made when users are in close range.
A passenger on the flight told CTV News Montreal that passengers began getting out of their seats as the plane sat on the tarmac, voicing concern as iPhones started pinging with requests to receive an Airdropped photo.
According to CTV News, one of the messages was an image of a bomb.
The flight was then canceled, and passengers were able to board another flight the following day.
An Air Canada (ADH2) spokesperson confirmed to local media that there was a security threat on flight AC1297, but that it was later deemed non-credible after an assessment.
“Out of an abundance of caution, passengers and luggage were deplaned and re-screened,” Air Canada (ADH2) spokesperson Pascal Dery said.
“Because of the delays that resulted from this incident, the flight was canceled after the crew exceeded their duty time permitted by law. The affected customers are now back in Montreal.”
Air Canada (ADH2) notified Transport Canada about the incident.