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That EgyptAir Flight Let a Fake Bomb on Board but Took This Man's Frozen Chicken

Sadly for the man, the bird was found by security officials in Cyprus after the hijacker was in custody and the plane was readying to return to Cairo.
Photo via Flickr user browniesfordinner

Everyone knows that modern air travel is a cold, cruel mistress. Given delays and diversions, even short flights can take longer than sitting through your aunt's adult bat mitzvah. And we're pretty sure that watching The Intern that many times in a row could be considered torture in some countries.

Worst of all, should you happen to find yourself the victim of a failed plane hijacking, the prized chicken that you oh-so-meticulously managed to smuggle on board said fight could very well be taken from your loving possession.


This was a lesson that one passenger on an EgyptAir flight from Alexandria to Cairo, which was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus earlier this week, learned the hard way. The flight was hijacked by a man named Seif Eldin Mustafa, who claimed to be wearing a belt of explosives. He later told officials he had been desperate to see his estranged wife who lives in Cyprus—so he managed to get there by hijacking the flight.

#EgyptAir hijacker photo man Ben Innes explains plane snap

— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 30, 2016

Thirty-one-year-old surgeon Abd-Allah El Ashmawy was on the hijacked flight and walked the BBC through the entire nerve-wracking ordeal. One of the more intriguing bits of information relayed by El Ashmawy was that another passenger had managed to smuggle a frozen chicken on board the flight. Mashable reports that the passenger's fowl contraband was a type of chicken known as farkha baladi, a local variety.

Sadly for the man, the bird was found by security officials in Cyprus after the hijacker was in custody and the plane was readying to return to Cairo.

The chicken smuggler protested loudly, and officials finally promised to put the chicken in a refrigerator for him. Perhaps it was this argument that ultimately won them over: "You allowed an explosive belt on board, but you won't let me take my chicken?"

As it turned out, the explosive belt didn't actually have any explosives—it was a fake—but we get this man's point. Thankfully this story has more than one happy ending, with both the passenger and his chicken allegedly being reunited in the end. "He took it when he was leaving," explains El Ashmawy.

Apparently, the chicken story was just one of several odd tales that came out of the hijacked EgyptAir debacle. One man actually slept through the entire hijacking, only to awaken in Cyprus and say, "I just don't want to miss my connection!"

Another passenger asked the hijacker to take a selfie with him. Yet another called his wife and confessed to having a secret bank account. She asked him to repeat the name of the bank several times.

Being hijacked evidently lets people express the full range of their humanity—hidden chickens and all.