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Bag Full of Boxcutters Slips by TSA and Onto a Flight at New York-JFK

Where: JFK International Airport [map], New York, NY, United States
March 2, 2011 at 11:36 AM | by | ()

"TSA Staff Jet Blew It" is the awful way that the New York Post is choosing to headline this morning's story about another TSA security lapse. Two TSA agents and a supervisor missed a bag with three boxcutters at a JFK security checkpoint, letting a New Jersey factory worker board a Dominican Republic-bound flight with the potential weapons.

It's likely that nothing would have come of the incident, except the boxcutters fell out of the man's bag while he was trying to stuff it into an overhead bin. Predictable delays and rescreenings ensued, but the TSA wants you to know that there's nothing to worry about. Not only have the TSA employees been scheduled for "remedial training," but boxcutters aren't a severe threat because of "a number of additional security layers... [including] the possible presence of armed federal air marshals, hardened cockpit doors, flight crews trained in self-defense and a more vigilant traveling public who have demonstrated a willingness to intervene."

If that's probably true—and it is—then why do our even more harmless pocket knives and cork screws routinely get confiscated at security checkpoints? For that matter, if there was no threat, why did the entire plane get evacuated, why did bomb-sniffing dogs have to get brought in, and why did everybody have to get rescreened?

More pointedly, why does TSA only use logic and common sense for rhetorical effect, when the agency is trying to excuse its employees' screwups? Instead of saying logical things about how TSA's random regulations don't substantially increase airline safety, why not just get rid of those regulations and make travel slightly less miserable?

Before the agency tries to sell us on the need for expensive full-body scanners and humiliating patdowns, in other words, maybe they should train their employees to recognize and confiscate things shaped like sharp knives.

[Photo: TSA]

Related Stories:
· TSA staff jet blew it [NY Post]
· Airport Security [Jaunted]
· Airports [Jaunted]

Archived Comments:


Well said.