ATLANTA - A Frontier flight into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was met by police and firefighters on the taxiway after a person on board reported receiving a bomb threat on their phone.
Flight 1571 from Baltimore to Atlanta landed safely a minute before 9:30 p.m. Thursday on Atlanta’s fifth runway, which is isolated away from the rest of the airport and the other runways.
An official for Frontier Airlines tells FOX 5 that someone on the Airbus A320-251N notified the flight attendant they had received an anonymous AirDrop message claiming an explosive device was onboard.
The air traffic control tower at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in Atlanta on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023. (Photographer: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The flight crew radioed the reported threat to the tower, which dispatched emergency crews for the arriving flight.
Passengers aboard the flight spoke to FOX 5’s Eric Mock, describing the confusion and fear after the plane landed. One passenger said flight attendants told them to remain seated as the flight landed. An FBI agent then boarded the plane, telling the passengers that officers would be arriving shortly.
Once the officers arrived, the passengers were taken one by one and eventually row-by-row to deplane. As the passengers left, K-9s sniffed each passenger. Eventually, the passengers were bused back to the terminal along with their carry-on bags.
At the baggage carousel, passengers of the flight waited eagerly for their bags only to be told by officials that their luggage was being searched bag-by-bag, and it may take up to four hours.
Several passengers expressed their displeasure with whoever sent the message, saying that person ruined their flight and caused undue inconvenience.
"I was just glad to get off and be safe. I hope they find the person who sent the message though, because criminally that was wrong, and you just scared an entire plane of people and passengers and their families," passenger Latoya Lowe said.
A Frontier spokesperson said no physical evidence of an explosive device had been found.
It was not immediately clear how many people were onboard the flight.
A spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department says explosive detection K-9s assisted officers in conducting a thorough search of the plane before allowing it back into service.
The FBI says they are looking into the matter.