An American Airlines plane was forced to return to the gate before takeoff after apassenger noticed a spooky Wi-Fi name. Photo: Reuters
Signs plastered around Australian airports warn that airline staff take jokes about security seriously - so saying you have a bomb in your suitcase is probably never going to go down well.
As a flight attendant checked an aircraft in Sydney in 2005, for instance, a man allegedly gestured to the woman sitting in front of him and said: 'What are you looking for - the bomb? She's got it.'
The pilot returned the plane to the terminal and had the man arrested.
What's in a Wi-Fi name? Photo: Reddit/KyleSycus
The man was then charged by the Australian Federal Police.
Many others have also had this same fate, with some being fined thousands of dollars or gaining a criminal record.
But what if the joke is made via a Wi-Fi hotspot's name?
A passenger aboard a US American Airlines flight at Los Angeles International on Sunday noticed a Wi-Fi network called 'Al Qaeda Free Terror Network' when attempting to get online.
The passenger reported this to the airline, and the flight - which was scheduled to depart for London - was returned to the gate for further investigation, NBC News reported. The flight was then further delayed because of a maintenance issue and the fact the crew had by then 'timed out' and needed to be replaced.
It was eventually rescheduled to depart on Monday afternoon, NBC said.
NBC added that law enforcement found no evidence that the Wi-Fi network originated from anyone on the plane. They speculated it could have been a mobile hot spot that was active in the terminal.
It is not the first time a technology-related issue has grounded a flight.
On the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, NBC reported that a Denver-bound Southwest Airlines flight was diverted to Seattle after passengers noticed wireless hot spot names that included 'Southwest Bomb on Board' and, a short time later, 'Bomb Location Seat 19E'.
Authorities later arrested an unidentified passenger.
A plane carrying Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley was also forced to divert and land ahead of schedule after a hacker group used Twitter to claim it had explosives on board.
Following the incident, Australian airline Qantas would not say whether it had ever had to deal with a similar issue. 'The safety or both our passengers and customers is our first priority. We treat any threat to safety and security equally, regardless of the medium by which it is delivered,' a spokeswoman said.
It is understood, however, that the national carrier has never received an anonymous threat via social media that it has had to act on.
A Virgin Australia spokesman said the airline could not comment for security reasons.
A kind of digital graffiti, Wi-Fi network names are often seen as an opportunity to have some whimsical, creative fun.
Two years ago, a Fairfax survey of inner-city Melbourne Wi-Fi hotspots found names such as 'ASIO Surveillance Van', 'House of Awesome', 'YourKidsAreUgly', 'Get-Lost' and 'Fat-Boy' in use. Others recently spotted include 'Handsoffmywifi', 'MethLab' and 'White Supremacy'.
With the ability to turn practically any new smartphone into a Wi-Fi hotspot - and some privacy-conscious people not wanting to use their own name as the hotspot's name - many interesting ones are being used, although some have a racist or otherwise offensive slant.
'I think it's just claiming your space, being part of something,' Alexandra Janelli, the founder of wtfwifi.com, which catalogues bizarre Wi-Fi names, told Fairfax after its Wi-Fi survey. 'I know it's virtual ownership, but it's still saying 'this is my network'.'
A thread on social media news website Reddit also lists interesting names people have seen Wi-Fi networks.
with Peter Munro