Last updated: 10:50 AM ET, Tue May 12 2015

Cuba-Bound Flight Delayed After 'Suspicious Item' Discovered Onboard

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | May 12, 2015

Cuba-Bound Flight Delayed After 'Suspicious Item' Discovered Onboard

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A Cuba-bound flight was significantly delayed on Monday at Miami International Airport after a suspicious item was discovered, according to airport spokesman Greg Chin via Peter Burke of Miami's Local 10 News.

The item was described as a flashlight wrapped in wires. 

Airport officials and authorities responded by removing the 142 passengers from the aircraft and evacuating several nearby gates. A bomb squad and K-9 unit were called to the scene to investigate and ultimately neutralize the item.

Sun Country Airlines Flight 8870 was scheduled to depart for Santa Monica, Cuba, at 2 p.m. ET but remained grounded on the tarmac several hours later.

It remains unknown whether the suspicious item was transported on the plane from its previous departure in Havana or had been brought on by a boarding passenger in Miami. However, another airport spokesman, Marc Henderson, told Local 10 News "there should not have been any prohibitive items in the possession of any passengers at that point in the boarding process."

Monday's scare in South Florida comes amid serious doubts about the airline's future.

According to, the Sun Country's board of directors has informed its pilot union that it's on the path to "its ultimate shut down" after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a revised collective labor agreement. 

"...our management team has begun the process of downsizing the airline, for what will need to be its ultimate shut down," wrote board chairman and owner Marty Davis in a recent letter to the pilot union.

The Minnesota-based airline has been in operation since 1983 and offers scheduled and charter flights throughout North America and the Caribbean, including Cuba.

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