PHILADELPHIA – A British man was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for calling in a phony bomb threat to prevent a friend from missing her plane at Philadelphia International Airport (search).
Ilyas Savas (search), who was 33 at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty in September to phoning a hotel at the airport last June and claiming that someone was planning to stash bombs aboard two American Airlines flights, one from Philadelphia to Boston and a second from Boston to London.
Authorities halted the Philadelphia flight on the runway so the plane could be searched. A flight from Boston to London was also delayed.
Investigators later learned that Savas called in the threat from his home in Hackney, England, at the request of a friend from New Jersey who was due to leave Philadelphia on the plane but had realized that she did not have her passport and would not be allowed aboard.
The plan, prosecutors said, was to delay the flight with a bomb threat, giving the friend, Hatice Ceylan, 18, time to retrieve her travel papers.
Savas and Ceylan were arrested after they tried to redeem the unused tickets and get either a refund or a new ticket, authorities said.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael M. Baylson (search) ordered Savas to pay $9,075 in restitution to American Airlines plus $100 to each passenger aboard the canceled flight.
Ceylan also pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 2.