If the Transportation Security Administration was a Shakespeare play, it would be A Comedy of Errors. In an apparent case of mistaken identity and astounding sloppiness, an x-ray scanner picked up a .38-caliber revolver in a passenger’s carry-on baggage at Dallas/Fort-Worth International Airport, but the TSA let the passenger walk away with the gun and even board her AA flight to Houston!
You can read the story here. Here’s what happened: the TSO watching the metal detector screen was not paying close attention (who needs a full body scanner when you can just put the contraband in your bag…) and only noticed the handgun after the woman had gathered her belongings and was already on her way down the concourse. X-ray images are simply that–they don’t match up images with passengers, so the TSA could not immediately tell which passenger brought the gun through the security checkpoint.
Using surveillance video, the TSA managed to identify the woman and sent DFW police scrambling through each terminal to attempt to find her. It took some time, but the woman–65-year-old attorney Judith Kenney–was found onboard an American Airlines flight bound for Houston with the gun in her bag. She was arrested, but claimed she had forgotten the gun was in her bag (don’t mess with Texas…) and was soon released.
More egg on the face of the TSA. What is the point of airport security if they cannot even get the little things like scanning the contents of carry-on baggage done right? At least the TSA protects us from dangerous cupcakes. Or something like that…
(tip of the hat to Frequently Flying)