Minutes prior to push-back this morning, three uniformed LAX Airport Police officers boarded my United flight to San Francisco. I was sitting in row two and heard their conversation with the purser.
Police: We need to speak to a couple passengers onboard, xxxx and xxxx. We suspect they are transporting drugs.
Purser: Sure (referring to the manifest), they are seated in row 18.
The police marched down the aisle and after speaking to the passengers for a couple minutes, escorted them off the aircraft. No cuffs, but the passengers walked with their heads down, avoiding all eye contact with other passengers.
The men were questioned on the jetbridge for a few minutes and their bags were searched. Somehow, the police had received a tip that the two were transporting drugs and found what they were looking for in a black duffel bag. With the boys on their way to the slammer, we still managed an on-time departure and early arrival into SFO.
I am just a bit confused, though. If the police suspected something, why did they wait until the two men boarded the aircraft? Were the men stupid enough to speak loudly or bring out the drugs in plain sight, prompting other passengers in the gate area to turn them in? Did they reek of pot?
The purser and captain were equally confused--the police just showed up and gave no indication how they knew the two men were carrying drugs.
Not a huge story, but an interesting first flight on United in 2012. Now on to Seoul Incheon...