TSA Doesn’t Do Their Job, Armed Officers Charge Plane

Wow! This apparently happened earlier in the week, and I’m not quite sure how I missed it. A Barbados-bound American Airlines flight was charged by armed police and evacuated after the TSA made a mistake screening one of the passenger’s bags.

Via ABC News:

The Transportation Security Administration says that “standard procedures were not adhered to” during when dental equipment set off a bag scare at Miami International Airport Monday, closing two security checkpoints and delaying 50 flights before it was determined the items weren’t a threat.

The FBI in Miami said a passenger — a dentist — went through security just before 5 p.m. and “it was later determined that items in his carry-on bag looked suspicious.”

A transportation security officer had stopped the X-ray machine at a checkpoint to conduct further screening of the carry-on bag, but “in the process of transitioning other passengers to an adjacent screening lane, standard procedures were not adhered to and the passenger was allowed to depart the checkpoint and proceed into the terminal,” said TSA spokesman Mike England.

Transportation security officers and law enforcement officers “promptly discovered the oversight,” England said, “and out of an abundance of caution, worked with airport operators to direct gate operations to cease while the passenger was located.”

Then everyone had to get off the plane with their hands on their heads, and the guy who did nothing wrong was humiliated and taken off the plane in cuffs.

Here’s the ABC News coverage of the incident:

Fortunately this won’t happen again:

The TSA is conducting a full after-action review of the response, England said, adding that the TSA will “retrain employees as necessary to ensure compliance with standard operating procedures.”

Good thing they’re doing a full review and retraining employees to ensure compliance with standard operating procedures. Procedures which somehow allow 95% of explosives and weapons to get through the checkpoint

Bottom line

While airport security is extremely important (in particular following the Metrojet crash, attacks in Paris, etc.), the reality is that the TSA hasn’t been doing security properly for years. It’s sort of embarrassing that they screwed up screening one passenger, and that caused dozens of flights to be delayed, a huge evacuation, and a man to be humiliated.

Unless they had further motive, I don’t know why they couldn’t have just had passengers deplane and screened his bag without so much production.

If planes were evacuated every time the TSA didn’t do their job properly, I don’t think we’d have any flights…

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. This response is so ridiculous and action needs to be taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    It’s one thing if the guy purposely skirted the system it’s another when their own action messes it up. A terrorist doesn’t plan on a ridiculous accident like having their bag be forgotten to be screened and if that is their plan they don’t keep whatever they snuck though in the same bag afterwards. Not sure what these morons were hoping a grand show of force like this was hoping to accomplish.

    There is just so much infuriating about this response that makes my blood boil. The security theater in this county is at absurd levels and the incident in Paris this week shows just how ineffective much of it is.

  2. Retraining is only half the equation. If the TSA ever fired employees for not performing their duties well, then there might be a little more accountability for doing an adequate screening job and focusing on their task at hand. I wonder how this employee was distracted, considering I have yet to see a checkpoint with less than 5 additional TSA screeners sitting around.

  3. Seriously Lucky – “unless they had further motive”. What motive are you looking for?? Please stop writing these useless posts whilst pretending like you know anything about airport security. If a guy has a suspicious item in his luggage and manages to get through security, they would obviously stop other planes from taking off as he may have given the bag to someone else. That was why they had to cancel flights until they found the bag. And flights were diverted because again, it would be stupid to land a plane in an airport that has a possible threat.
    Use your head and think before you write such rubbish

  4. Sam: you’re right, use your head. If he passed something, why the hell weren’t all the other bags checked? “Scouts honor sir, I didn’t pass anything”?

  5. I think most of us would put up with whatever procedures TSA had if they were just consistent. As I frequent flyer I am dismayed by the difference in procedures from one US airport to the next as it confirms my worst fears/suspicions about the level of training they receive.

  6. No post about Paris or Beirut but “I’m not quite sure how I missed” about this stupid incident. The blog is getting better and better….

  7. @Lucky How do you think Marriott bought Starwood ? Should I buy a bunch of Marriott points and wait it become SPG points?

  8. @ Sam
    Lucky was just making a point of how ineffective our security is and how they handle things. Maybe you work for government maybe you don’t. The vast majority of government employees cannot survive in private enterprise and there jobs are virtually always protected.

  9. @Sam is a TSA employee. nothing to see here, move on.
    The TSA is useless and has been since inception, so actions like this don’t even surprise me.

  10. WOW @Sam, guess you won’t mind it if the TSA make an error scanning your bag and you are removed from a flight in handcuffs …

    @Jeff I’m sure Lucky very deliberately left out news of Paris and Lebanon as it has been very well covered by world news agencies. if you are after current events, read the paper.

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