A flight from SFO to Boston carrying New Jersey governor and presidential hopeful Chris Christie was delayed for hours after a security scare involving a passenger behaving suspiciously.
United Airlines flight 1108 was scheduled to take off just after 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning when a passenger began taking taking pictures of the flight attendants with his phone. When he began deleting the pictures, at the request of the crew, a passenger sitting next to him noticed a suspicious photo that appeared to show a phone with wires sticking out from it, according to SFGate. Authorities were alerted and detained the suspicious passenger.
"As a precaution everyone had to exit the plane, they then had to get checked again and they did an explosive trace device test where they do a swab on their hands and they ran the luggage through the security checks again to make sure they were safe," said San Francisco Police spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi.
The man taking the pictures was cleared and deemed not to be a threat and was allowed to board a different flight. Christie's flight eventually took off just before 2 p.m., over five hours later.
United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said in a statement, "We will be reaching out to our customers individually to apologize."
Despite the presence of Christie on the plane, the governor was not a target of any threat, contrary to rumors that spread on social media. "Governor Christie, an aide and a member of his security detail were traveling on a United flight from San Francisco to Boston this morning when a passenger was removed from the plane before takeoff at the request of United Airlines," Christie campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella said in a statement. "At no point did Governor Christie interact with this passenger nor did this passenger pose a verbal or physical threat to the Governor."
Governor Christie has had his adventures in transit, lately. Last month, he was kicked out of an Amtrak quiet car for talking on his cell phone. The governor, through a spokeswoman, apologized for the incident.