Is Airport Security as Strong as We Thought?


Just a few days ago, the news was ripe with reports that a 9-year-old boy had apparently boarded a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas without even having a boarding pass. He made it through every single check point and was screened by TSA officials. Once on the flight, however, the flight crew thought his situation was suspicious and he was taken into custody upon landing, according to ABC News.

Though the young boy most likely had a much easier time getting through security checkpoints than an adult would, this incident still raises several questions. How did three different (if not more) security personnel—the security checkpoint, the TSA, the boarding attendant—all fail to check the boy’s boarding pass? Though it is commendable that the flight crew acted on their suspicions on the flight, it should not have taken that long for suspicions to arise.

According to an article from USA Today, TSA and Delta have begun investigating how exactly the boy got through the checkpoints. They will be reviewing footage from the airport that day to fully determine what happened, though a rep from the airport has already state that video footage shows the boy talking to an agent who gets distracted, and then the boy slips by. CNN did point out, however, that the boy’s mother worked at the airport where he departed, possibly another reason he was not screened properly. The same article suggests that new information has revealed that the boy has “behavioral problems.” He recently stole a car and sneaked into a water park.

Incidents like this have happened before, though only a handful of times. An article from USA Today points out an incident in which a 61-year-old man used an airport worker’s ID to board a flight from France to the US.

Some readers on news sites are saying the boy most likely has a very high IQ. Some believe he has unmatched street smarts for his age. Do you agree with this? Should he be commended for his savvy, or does the whole situation point to a serious fault in aviation safety? Let us know your thoughts. 

Posted by Jamie Friedlander on Oct 09, 2013

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