A passenger chuckled as he told staff at Birmingham International Airport that he had a bomb in his luggage, a court heard yesterday.
James Anthony Tully, who later claimed he had been joking, twice told a check-in supervisor that the hand luggage he was carrying contained Semtex explosives.
Tully (41) pleaded guilty at Solihull Magistrates' Court yesterday to perpetrating a bomb hoax as he checked in for a flight to Ireland.
Tully, of Bryndale Avenue, Kings Heath, Birmingham, was granted conditional bail and committed to Warwick Crown Court for sentence on August 3.
He was charged on Wednesday night with communicating false information contrary to the Criminal Law Act.
The court heard how Tully had consumed four or five cans of alcohol before making the hoax on Wednesday to 40 year-old Chrassa Slaney, who has worked at BIA for seven years.
He then said he was joking and asked for his passport back. When Ms Slaney refused, he raised his voice and demanded it back.
Tully then walked off from the queue and said to other customers waiting to check-in : "Watch my bag, I'm going to the toilet".
John McCann, prosecuting, said: "Ms Slaney had to notify the authorities of the baggage as she clearly felt that this man wasn't joking and the police didn't take it as a joke."
Police failed to find any traces of explosives but when Tully returned to the queue, he was arrested.
Tully was preparing to travel to Knock in Ireland to see his mother who had recently been discharged from hospital after suffering with pneumonia and back problems.
Ahmer Sattar, defending, said: "He has a nervous disposition and is scared of flying so in order to calm his nerves he had four or five cans of lager. He had already been playing jokes with security staff and did make the comments but in a playful context."
Afterwards, Chief Inspector John White, from the airport police unit, said: "A national policy to deal with disruptive passengers is now in place and this shows that we will deal with any claims of this nature in a robust way."