Are Airports Really Ready for Knives When They Cant Keep People Off the Tarmac?
- By Ginger Hill
- Mar 07, 2013
Delta Airlines, the Transportation Security Administration and the Atlanta Police Department are still confused and trying to figure out how passenger Shannon Reynolds ended up on the tarmac.
Reynolds arrived at the airport around 5:00am so she would have time to park at an off-site parking lot and still have time to catch her flight. Accidentally, she pulled into a Delta employee parking lot where she was simply waved through two separate security checkpoints and allowed to park. She even was allowed on a Delta employee shuttle bus without being asked for identification, and because none of the employees on board the shuttle were wearing uniforms, the traveler didn’t realize it was for employees only.
“When I got to the airport, I looked around and I realized this is not where I was supposed to be. It was the tarmac with a big airplane sitting there,” Reynolds told CNN.
She promptly alerted the shuttle driver who still allowed her to get out of the bus onto the tarmac. Reynolds was then escorted and allowed into a secure area by an airport employee who told her to go downstairs and go through security as all passengers normally do. It wasn’t until she was inside the terminal that someone finally stopped her and asked for her identification. This prompted the investigation as to how she had made it so far without being checked.
TSA is conducting an investigation to determine how an individual, without proper credentials accessed a secure area of the airport from an airline employee parking lot, while Delta is re-emphasizing to its employees the importance of checking employee identification at Delta employee parking lots.
Reynolds was transported back to her car, allowing her to move it; however, she missed her 6:30am flight.
Reynold’s path BEFORE getting asked to show identification:
- Delta employee parking lot entrance
- Delta employee security checkpoint #1
- Delta employee security checkpoint #2
- Parked her car in Delta employee parking lot
- Delta employee shuttle bus
- Secure area of the airport
- Downstairs to passenger security – FINALLY asked for identification.
So, on April 25, 2013, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be allowing small knives, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, golf clubs, and souvenir baseball bats as carry-on items.
The reasoning behind this decision?
To allow officers to better focus on higher threat items.
Really? Then, what happened on the tarmac? Isn’t this incident a “higher threat” security breach that was ignored by employees? Where were TSA officers?
As I think about this incident, I wonder what could have happened if Shannon Reynolds wasn’t Shannon Reynolds, but a terrorist or a criminal.
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.