What is a cell phone interceptor

Cell phone in the toilet on board triggered a terror alarm on Ryan Air flight

The flight from Vienna to London had been directed by British fighter jets. One suspicious package turned out to be a forgotten cell phone.

A cell phone left on the on-board toilet caused a stir on a Laudamotion (Ryanair Austria) flight from Vienna to London-Stansted on Sunday evening. The crew rated the cell phone as a "suspicious item". British military jets escorted the plane to the destination airport, two men were temporarily arrested but released on Monday.

According to flighradar24.com, the Laudamotion Airbus A320 started at 6:35 p.m. with a delay of 20 minutes at Vienna Airport in Schwechat and landed in Stansted on schedule. According to eyewitnesses, most of the passengers did not notice the interceptors. After landing, however, the machine stood on the tarmac for about an hour until the police came on board and picked up two men who neither resisted nor protested their arrest.

A package containing battery-like items had been found, according to an APA employee whose relatives living in London were aboard flight FR7364 on their flight home. The crew could not decipher a letter lying there and then notified the English authorities, who sent the military jets out as an escort. Only after the arrests did the crew inform the passengers of the find and the measures taken as a result.

Men released again

The two passengers arrested were a 34-year-old from Kuwait and a 48-year-old from Italy, as British media reported online on Monday. At first it was said that the men were being investigated on suspicion of terrorism. They were released that afternoon after it was determined that the item found posed no threat. The men are not suspected of having committed crimes, the police said, according to an online report by the BBC.

"The Austrian Office for the Protection of the Constitution is aware of the incidents in London. According to the latest information from the British security authorities, it was probably a mobile phone and therefore not a dangerous object," the Ministry of the Interior (BMI) in Vienna also confirmed the British media reports. "There are currently no indications that there is a connection to Austria." However, various detailed information is still pending, but the domestic authorities are in contact with both the liaison officers and the British security authorities.

Replacement aircraft for return flight

How many passengers were affected by the incident on board the Laudamotion machine was unclear. A statement from Laudamotion in Austria on the incident was not available to the APA for the time being. Upon request, only the statement from the Irish parent company Ryanair was transmitted.

"The crew of a Ryanair flight from Vienna to London Stansted warned of a possible security threat on board tonight (August 30th). In accordance with the guidelines, the captain informed the UK authorities and continued the flight to London Stansted, where the plane was landed normally and rolled to a distant parking position where the passengers safely disembarked, "said Ryanair. Passengers who were waiting for the return flight to Vienna were transported with a replacement aircraft. Everything else is a matter for the police.