British royal Prince William was caught up in a mid-air bomb scare yesterday (30JUN05) - when a discarded mobile phone was thought to be a danger to his flight between Los Angeles and Auckland, New Zealand.

The heir-to-the-throne's plane was above the Pacific Ocean when pilots were forced to consider turning back. Abandoning the journey would have delayed William's New Zealand tour, where he will represent his grandmother Queen ELIZABETH II for the first time.

The mystery mobile was discovered eight hours into the 13 hour flight. Cabin crew wrapped the suspicious phone in pillows and blankets to try and minimise the effects of a possible explosion. William, travelling business class on the commercial airliner, was unaware of the drama.

Cabin crew eventually discovered the phone had fallen out of a caterer's pocket.

Captain DAVID MORGAN, of Air New Zealand says, "The phone appeared to belong to the catering company that provides food for the flight."

Passenger ANNABEL WARNER says, "A few people were panicking. About eight hours into the flight they realised the phone belonged to a cleaner who had boarded the plane in Los Angeles."

01/07/2005 10:16