Stuffing our bodies into metal tubes to fly miles above the ground is already a pretty dehumanizing experience. And “jokes” about bombs can make it a lot worse, as a teenager’s lawyer seemed to acknowledge, calling a recent incident in New Zealand the “grossly stupid event of the century.”
On Wednesday night, 19-year-old Australian Meke Fifita typed “I have a bomb” in the in-flight messaging app on a flight scheduled from Auckland to Sydney, Stuff.co.nz reports. According to the news outlet, the court was told Fifita “immediately” knew an announced security breach was the result of his comment. At the time, the plane was still taxiing on the runway in New Zealand, and when it returned to the gate, Fifita was arrested and charged with violating the Civil Aviation Act.
“I thought it was funny,” was the explanation Fifita gave for his actions, according to Stuff. His lawyer, Jane Northwood, reportedly said that she’s “never met anyone more distressed or remorseful and overwhelmed.”
In the end, Fifita was ordered by the court to pay $3,000 in reparations for the cost of the scare on taxpayers, emergency services, and the airport. According to Stuff, his father paid the sum and Fifita has been deported.
“Anyone with half a brain would understand that this is not a funny thing to do, given the times we live in,” Judge Anna Johns told the court, Stuff reports.
Fifita is hardly the first person whose “grossly stupid” actions screwed up a plane full of people’s plans. Previously, this jackass caused an emergency landing after naming a wifi network “bomb on board,” this jabroni got a flight canceled after creating the wifi network “galaxy note 7,” and this asshat delayed a flight after naming a wifi network “Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork.”
A passenger on Fifita’s flight previously told Stuff they were given food vouchers and put up in hotels for the night.