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Southwest Airlines Pilot's Birthday Wish Causes Bomb Scare When Passengers Hear 'Bomb,' Not 'Mom' (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post    
First Posted: 02/26/2012 5:38 pm Updated: 03/ 5/2012 6:37 pm

Talk about a major misunderstanding.

A Southwest Airlines pilot tried to deliver an innocent birthday message to a worker's mother when some passengers mistook the phrase "mom on board" for "bomb on board."

The pilot made the announcement on Flight 1155 on Feb. 24 after an air traffic controller told him his mother was flying on his aircraft, CBS New York reports.

An airlines spokesperson said the pilot explained he was wishing a passenger a happy birthday.

Still, at least two passengers were upset about the incident and complained to flight officials after the plane landed.

In a statement obtained by the Long Island Press, the Federal Aviation Administration explained:

"Pilots and controllers will sometimes engage in brief greetings...If such conversations go beyond this limit, controllers are counseled to refrain from such unnecessary talk."

A spokesperson for the airlines said the the pilot also reported the incident, the Long Island Press reports. The FAA reviewed the exchange and said it wasn't taking further action.

Last year, a woman was arrested and charged with calling in a false bomb threat targeting a Southwest Airlines flight.

Mary Purcell reportedly placed two calls to Tucson International Airport to stop two family members from flying near the 10th anniversary of 9/11, according to the Associated Press. Officials searched the plane and re-screened all passengers.

Purcell was being treated for an "undisclosed mental condition."

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