Seriously? Passenger “AirDrops” Nude Photos

By Spyros Georgilidakis | September 3, 2022

We’ve heard of people using AirDrop to share photos that scare people on flights, but one passenger apparently had a different purpose.

Behind the scenes, flight crews have to consider many factors and challenges that passengers never hear about. These include matters of safety AND security – and occasionally, we get to hear of some of the latter. We have seen how some people have occasionally used social media to joke about threats to aircraft they are in. This generally doesn’t end well for them.

Seriously? Passenger “AirDrops” Nude Photos
Photo: elisfkc, CC BY-SA 2.0

On other occasions, a passenger may use other means to send photos to others on the aircraft directly. A number of such incidents involved pictures of aircraft crashes, as a way to scare nervous fliers. We have seen several incidents where someone did this using AirDrop, a utility in Apple’s portable devices. Again, such actions don’t end well. Airline crews treat such affairs as threats to the flight and respond accordingly.

But on this occasion, one passenger was “AirDropping” different photos to fellow passengers. We don’t know the exact date of this flight, but it happened last week. This was a Southwest flight, departing from Willian P. Hobby Airport (KHOU) in Houston, Texas, USA. The flight’s destination was Los Cabos International Airport (MMSD) in Mexico. The incident began when the flight was still boarding in Houston.

Seriously? Passenger “AirDrops” Nude Photos


Crew Reacts To Passenger AirDrop Photos

The airline’s personnel got several passenger complaints about someone who was AirDropping photos of himself. Some passengers got the AirDrop notification but rejected the photo. Others didn’t. And more importantly, it seems that this passenger continued to send photos to people even after the aircraft moved away from the terminal.

Photo: Tomás Del Coro, CC BY-SA 2.0

That’s where the flight and cabin crew had enough. The flight’s captain made an announcement, which included the following:

So here’s the deal: if this continues while we’re on the ground I’m going to have to pull back to the gate, everybody’s going to have to get off, we’re going to have to get security involved and vacation is going to be ruined. So you folks, whatever that AirDrop thing is, quit sending naked pictures and let’s get yourself to Cabo.

This did the trick. The mystery passenger sent no more photos and everyone made it to Mexico safely. Unfortunately, airline crews are saying that this isn’t an unprecedented event. People who think it’s a good idea to send such pictures, apparently think it’s OK to send them during (or just before) a flight. In this case, this person was lucky that the flight crew stopped short of treating this as a security matter.

Seriously? Passenger “AirDrops” Nude Photos
Photo: Lukas Souza

Southwest did make a statement about the event to CNN:

The safety, security and wellbeing of customers and employees is the Southwest team’s highest priority at all times. When made aware of a potential problem, our employees address issues to support the comfort of those traveling with us.


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