May 192010
 

A while back, in the post 911 era, as a plane was descending into New York, some first time visitors were so excited that they went from window to window exclaiming “Statue of Liberty”, “Empire State building” etc. Some passengers thought that these were terrorists who were identifying targets, and reported them. These excited visitors were questioned and released.

In another incident, an ultra-orthodox jew was reciting prayers in the aircraft and several passengers got suspicious and reported it to the captain.

In the current climate, you have to be careful if in your language the word for “take off” sounds similar to the word for “blow up”.

Recently, a cleric was offloaded from a Emirates flight because of the ambiguity in Hindi language. A woman told the cabin crew that she heard the cleric saying over phone “jahaz udne wala hai, ham udane wala hai” (the plane is about to take off, we are about to blow up), police said. The cleric told police he was only telling somebody “jahaz udne wala hai (the plane is about to fly)”.

So, before your next flight, please do your homework and keep mum if your language has this problem. 😎

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