ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Suspicions about an airline passenger’s luggage sent the Albuquerque Sunport into lockdown Monday, causing flight delays and bringing out the bomb squad.
The bomb scare started around 4 p.m., closing the airport to all incoming passenger traffic and forcing hundreds of passengers to wait inside the airport’s terminal.
Around 6:30 p.m., police gave the all-clear after determining the item was “normal” and did not present a threat. Police say the item was allowed to be checked in a bag.
While Albuquerque Police declined to reveal exactly what the suspicious item was, a couple who spoke to KRQE News 13 Monday evening believes their video game console inside of their checked luggage was at the center of the commotion.
“I’m so sorry, it was not intentional,” said Hailey Wilson, a Sunport passenger who believes her bag caused the commotion.
Wilson and her boyfriend Issiah Sedillo were slated to travel out of Albuquerque back home to the east coast Monday evening after spending roughly a week visiting family in New Mexico. Sedillo says he packed his Xbox One X video game console in their checked bag.
The couple made it through security but noticed everything stopped inside the Sunport shortly after. Wilson told KRQE News 13 that airline staff soon after informed the couple they would miss their flight because one of their bags was being held for an unexplained reason.
Police later asked the couple about their bag and the Xbox console inside.
“They said it usually it weighs a lot less,” said Sedillo, recalling what police told him about their concern over the game console.
According to the website DigitalTrends, the Xbox One X weighs about 8.4 pounds, making it one of the heaviest video game consoles currently on the market.
In response to concerns raised by TSA, APD shut down the airport, preventing everyone from coming in or going out of the facility while the bomb squad screened the luggage and the suspicious item to make sure everyone was safe.
“Out of an abundance of caution to resolve the anomaly within that bag, we brought in our bomb squad to just do a really careful screen of that bag there was no problems what-so-ever, no criminal activity at all related to that passenger or that bag,” said Deputy Chief Mike Smathers of Albuquerque Police.
Hundreds of passengers were caught either waiting outside the airport or inside the terminal while police screened the luggage, which was determined to be safe.
KRQE News asked APD if it was indeed Wilson and Sedillo’s video game console caused the problem at the Sunport Monday, however, the department would not confirm the suspicious item. APD only said the item was determined to be a normal item that people are allowed to travel with.
Sedillo and Wilson weren’t allowed to fly out of Albuquerque Monday, but plan to depart Tuesday on a rebooked flight.
Albuquerque city officials said Monday night some of the flights out were delayed, but no flights were canceled as a result of the situation.