A Dumb Joke at Miami International Airport Cost Neurosurgeon $89,000

Keep your amateur stand-up routine for open mic night. You might bomb, but at least it's free.

Dr. Manuel Alvarado, a 60-year-old Venezuelan, decided to try his best comedy routine at Miami International Airport and now has to pay $89,000.

On October 22, Alvarado was joking around with a gate agent and said that he had C-4 explosives in his luggage. The gate agent did not take it as a joke.

Probably because a) that's not actually that funny; b) not joking about bombs in an airport is the number one rule of airports.

The incident lead to parts of MIA being shut down for several hours that day. Five separate airlines ended up having to cancel flights.

A Miami-Dade Police bomb squad was also deployed to search through the doctor's luggage and, of course, found nothing.

In exchange for not having formal charges filed, Alvarado's attorney worked out a deal. He'll pay up almost $84,000 to the airlines, with the rest of the $89,000 fine going to the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Alvarado also issued a formal written apology.

Please learn from Alvarado's mistakes: keep your dumb airport bits to airline food and how your arms are so tired.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >