Here’s an easy way to infuriate a lot of people very quickly: Re-name your smartphone’s Wi-Fi hotspot “Samsung Galaxy Note 7” and try and catch a flight.
The BBC reports that’s exactly what happened on a flight from San Francisco to Boston this week. While the Virgin Airlines plane was mid-flight, cabin crew noticed that one of the available Wi-Fi networks was called “Samsung Galaxy Note7_1097.”
The Galaxy Note 7 was, of course, the ill-fated Samsung smartphone that wouldn’t stop exploding — destroying cars, burning children, and gutting hotel rooms — prompting the South Korean company to discontinue it entirely. Taking one on a plane in the US is now a federal crime.
Lucas Wojciechowski, a software engineer on the Virgin America flight, tweeted that an hour into the flight, the cabin crew made an announcement: “If anyone has a Galaxy Note 7, please press your call button.”
This was followed up 15 minutes later with: “This isn’t a joke. We’re going to turn on the light,” he tweeted, “and search everyone’s bag until we find it.”
Another 15 minutes later, and the captain came on the intercom — threatening to divert the plane and search it unless someone owned up. “I don’t know if you’ve ever been diverted at 3am,” the captain said, according to Wojciechowski’s tweet. “Let me tell you, it is terrible. There is nothing open in the terminal. Nothing.”
Luckily for the passengers, the (presumably sheepish) guilty party ultimately came forwards. “Ladies and gentlemen, we found the device. Luckily only the name of the device was changed to ‘Galaxy Note 7’. It was not a GN7.”
But the story doesn’t end there.
Serenity Caldwell, a journalist who works at iMore, tweeted that when she arrived at the airport, she “found a huge line of people at the counter to my gate. Turns out, the flight had been cancelled.” It took two hours for a replacement flight to be organised by the airline.
Why? She says a crew member said: “The plane was mid-flight when an attendant noticed a wifi hotspot. A Galaxy Note 7 Wifi hotspot.”
So yeah. It’s an quick way to spoil Christmas for several hundred people. Don’t do this.