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***Bomb Threat, ISP-BOS-PHL***

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  • ***Bomb Threat, ISP-BOS-PHL***

    American Eagle
    12/30/2003- 1/1/2003
    Flight # 4574/4544
    Overall Experience- Average

    Yes I did say “Bomb Threat” in the topic line and yes we did have a supposed bomb threat but we’ll get to that a little later in the trip report. I decided to go down to Philly for New Years to spend it with my cousin and having flown down there before I decided to fly again to avoid the 5 hour traffic jam on 95. Generally I fly US Airways Express non-stop ISP-PHL but this time I decided to fly American. Well you’ll soon see why driving would have been quicker.

    I arrived at the airport about an hour and half before departure checked in with an agent who was totally confused why I was flying to Philly through Boston. Maybe she needs a lesson in the hub and spoke system. After checking in I proceed to security where I stripped down, with the other passengers so I wouldn’t set off the detector, you know, off comes the belt, shoes, jacket, and so forth. Getting through security I took a walk though the concourses to see what birds were in town. I was hesitant about taking pictures since ISP flips out if you look wrong at a plane, plus any pics I took would have looked similar to my other ISP pics. I did see a Southwest 737 with winglets, which was exciting, but she was at a real bad angle to get a good pic. Anyway after walking around I grabbed a quick bite to eat and proceed to my gate.

    Sitting there with my other fellow passengers about 20 minutes before boarding the police came down the concourse and told everybody to evacuate the airport immediately. Without questioning what was going on everyone got up and headed for the front of the terminal. After exiting the airport we were directed to the short term parking lot about 100 feet from the front of the terminal.

    Standing out in the cold.

    Are we having fun yet??

    After everybody was out of the airport they proceed to put up police lines and took their patrol cars and blocked the entranceways and roadways to the terminal. After about 5 minutes I asked an officer what was going on. He told me a suspicious package was found and the bomb squad was enroute. So at that point I knew we were going to be there awhile. About 30 minutes into the ordeal a friend of mine who’s an ATC controller at the New York TRACON called me to ask if I was at the airport or if I left already. He told me that his manager was informed that an official bomb threat was called into the airport. His facility, which shares grounds with ISP, was also locked down.

    Now about 50 minutes into this little adventure people started to ask how long it was going to be. The police ignored our inquires or just looked away or shrugged their shoulders. One officer did come out to inform us that they were bringing shuttle buses into the long-term parking lot for the elderly, women, and children to use. Now if you know the layout of ISP the long-term parking lot is a bit of distance for the elderly to walk especially in the cold and wind. At this point we hear these two large bangs. I got an officers attention and asked him what the noise was, he said they found a suspicious package and used police explosives to destroy it. Now even though I’m totally not afraid to fly that was a bit disconcerting. Being out in the cold now for over an hour and the package probably someone’s dirty underwear safely in pieces people started to yell at the police demanding to have the airport reopen. One person who identified themselves as a doctor demanded that wheel chairs be brought out from the terminal for the elderly to be taken to the buses to get warm. Needless to say they did nothing.

    Now one thing that amazed me ISP was still landing planes but holding them on the taxiway, I would have though they would have held them in the air but I guess bringing them in uses less fuel.

    Finally at an hour and half after this whole thing started they reopened the airport and then the real chaos began. If you didn’t play high school football you could forget about being first in line at the screening area, yes they rescreened everyone. Luckily I was about the tenth person in line. I’ll say one ting, the TSA did a shitty job rescreening people, they pushed everyone through really quickly, talk about a security threat??? After getting back to my gate I noticed the plane wasn’t their and the flight wasn’t on the status board and nobody from American was a the gate for assistance. As my fellow passengers started to arrive at the gate everyone asked the same question, where’s the plane and the gate agent? We all had connections that we would miss and needed to be rebooked on other flights but without a gate agent it was a little tuff. Finally I asked a US Airways gate agent to call the American desk to see if they could come over, someone finally did came over. The agent rebooked me on a 10:30 flight from Boston to Philly but said if I get to Boston before 7:00 I should have them try to put me on the 7:30 US Airways flight. BTW the reason our plane wasn’t there was they redirected it to JFK. Finally after the plane got in from JFK we got ready to leave ISP. Talk about real short turn around, the minute the last passenger got off we got on. Our ERJ was on the ground at ISP for only 15 minutes!

    Our flight time to Boston was only 35 minutes at 17,000 feet. Arriving in Boston at 7:05 it was to late for me to make the US Airways flight so I walked around AA’s terminal at Boston. I won’t go into my experience at Boston you can read that in my post in the other forum when I post it. I have to say that Boston has to be America’s crappiest airport. My flight to Philly left on time and was very smooth and comfortable.

    I won’t post a topic on the return trip being that it was uneventful and short. I will say PHL is a great airport with great shops and restaurants. Again I won’t go into the connection at BOS. You can read my rants about Boston when I post my Boston topic in the other forum.

    Some things about the ERJ, if you’re flying on one sit in the exit row, the legroom is great and the seats recline. While AA uses leather seats on their ERJ’s the seats themselves are hard and most uncomfortable for flights longer then an hour. Service on board was ok, a smile, some pretzels, and a soda was the extent of AA’s Eagle service. As I said the experience on American Eagle were average, but the bomb scare going to Philly made the trip very exciting.

  • #2
    great report! love the pictures!

    i never knew isp was so small.
    Fly KEF!!


    • #3

      Wow, great flight review! Bet that was one of the more unusual trips you've taken recently, to say the least! Good thing it wasn't an actual bomb.

      Happy (and safe) Flying!


      • #4
        To write the least, what a captivating report
        Thanks for visiting
        *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *