What happens when the TSA calls in reinforcements at JFK, but they’re on their coffee break?
Nothing, as it turns out.
When I described the horrific security lines at JFK last week, I mentioned an assault incident that deserved its own post.
> Read More: Mayhem at JFK: Terminal 4 Security Line
One reason the snaking security line moved so slowly was because every few minutes airline representatives would escort VIP or first class guests to the front, pushing rubes like me back even further in line.
This classist line-cutting rubbed many the wrong way, including one particular woman who was late for her flight.
There was one five-minute period in which two SWISS representatives, one Virgin Atlantic, and one Delta representative led their parties to the front of the line. No one made any progress.
By the time the Delta agent led her party to the front, the woman put her foot down.
She refused to let the Delta agent and her party pass, actively blocking her. For her part, the Delta agent never raised her voice or swore, but did continually attempt to pass the woman on her right side, then her left side. If you can picture it, the woman kept sliding over as the Delta agent tried to slide by.
Suddenly, the woman allegedly shoved the Delta agent, blaming her for getting to close to her. I did not witness the shove.
The Delta agent called out to the TSA for assistance, claiming the woman had shoved her. One TSA agent radioed in for help, reporting that an airline agent had been assaulted.
She radioed in again.
Finally, someone answered and she asked for “reinforcements”, reporting the assault.
“We aint’ got nobody who can come. We’re on break.”
She was incredulous as I was and those around her.
“You serious?” she asked.
She shrugged and the assaulter proceeded to the security checkpoint and eventually to her gate.
The TSA aren’t the bouncers. I’m not sure why the TSA didn’t call the Port Authority police. Then again, this was one of those “air rage” incidents that may have become a she-said, she-said battle, even with witnesses (who might feign ignorance in order to avoid miss their flight).
In any case, not a pretty picture.
image: Chmpgnrose / Wikimedia Commons