Apparent Trip To “Mile High Club” Prompts 9/11 Security Scare

File this under things you shouldn’t do on an airplane on the 10th anniversary of the worst terror attack in American history:

Fighter planes were scrambled, bomb squads were called, FBI command centers went on alert and police teams raced to airports today, but in the end two separate airline incidents were caused by apparently innocent bathroom breaks and a little “making out,” federal officials said.

In the first incident, a pair of fighter jets were scrambled to escort an American Airlines jet into New York’s JFK airport after the pilot became spooked by passengers’ frequent trips to and from the restroom.

The precaution turned out to be unnecessary as federal air marshals aboard flight 34 from Los Angeles to JFK were able to resolve the situation when the passengers complied with their instructions, police officials said. The pilot then radioed that the situation was under control and the plane landed safely. Three male passengers were questioned upon arrival, but no charges were filed against them, authorities said.

The incident occurred around the same time that a second pair of fighter jets hit the skies to monitor another plane – this one a Frontier Airlines flight from Denver to Detroit – after two passengers aboard that plane were “allegedly behaving suspiciously,” according to the FBI spokesperson in Denver, Dave Joly. The plane was met in the Detroit airport by law enforcement and taken to a remote area for a security screening, but no explosives were found, Joly said.

Instead, the “suspicious behavior” was two people “making out” in the bathroom mid-flight, law enforcement sources told ABC News. Three people were taken into custody for questioning, Frontier Airlines said in a statement, but no arrests have been made in that case either.

Something tells me alcohol was involved.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    It takes two to tango…what was the third person’s role? Those bathrooms aren’t big enough for 3.

  2. JohnMcC says:

    An observation that I’ve been making for the past 10yrs: the safest place you can possibly be in the whole world is on an American-flagged airliner in flight. There is no tolerance for suspicious or threatening behavior. If someone creates enough of a stir, they’ll find themselves beaten up and tied in their seat. If they do it on the anniversary of 9/11, I guess they get an F-16 escort to their destination. And the same security would exist if we didn’t have to take off our shoes or be patted down.

  3. Defense Taxpayer says:

    And these idiots did this with NO regard for the date and events of 9/11?!?!? Should have been escorted to the back of the plane and helped out the 28000 feet. Thin the herd.

  4. Franklin says:

    EDIT: self-censoring here.

    In any case, I don’t really see what the big deal is. I didn’t know 9/11 was off-limits for sex. And unlike some people, I don’t care what other people do behind closed doors.

  5. Herb says:

    Sure, scramble the fighter jets over a couple people making out and it’s the lovers’ problem…..

    Surely we can agree that trying to join the mile high club on a commercial jetliner is dumb, but we know that fighter jets are not very good at dealing with problems on commercial flights, so why are we still scrambling them?

  6. Franklin says:

    Update: no such tryst ever happened. The three people didn’t know each other, and one of them just went to the bathroom because they felt sick. Apparently that’s a crime in the post-9/11 world. After 10 years of this non-sense, it’s becoming clear that my fellow Americans will never get a grip on reality.