By Andrea Romano
August 16, 2018
Gatwick Airport
Credit: Education Images/Getty Images

If you think you'll miss your flight, there are tried-and-true options for handling the situation. For instance, as FareBoom notes, you can often call the airline if you’re running late, and get booked on a later flight with very little difficulty.

What you should NOT do is call in a fake bomb threat to the airport.

A French man who lives in London did exactly that when he was attempting to delay his flight from London to Los Angeles in May of this year.

When Jacob Meir Abdellak arrived late to the airport, staff would not allow him to board the flight, although it had not yet taken off, Reuters reported. He called in a fake threat involving a “noxious substance likely to create serious risk to human health” about 8 minutes before the flight was scheduled to depart. As a result, passengers had to deplane and be rescreened. The flight itself was delayed by 90 minutes, Reuters reported.

Authorities found that the fake call came from the same number Abdellak used when booking. When he arrived at the airport later in the month for a different flight, he was arrested. He was tried in court and sentenced to 10 months in prison, according to Reuters.

“This turned out to be the worst decision he could have made,” Gatwick Police Chief Inspector Marc Clothier told Reuters, saying that calling in the threat was “ridiculous.”

While ridiculous, this isn't the first time someone has called in a fake bomb threat to an airport for alleged personal gain. In 2016, a man in New York called in a bomb threat to try to keep his girlfriend's flight from leaving.