October 8, 2013
Human Interest Story Could Be Portent For Bad Things To Come
It has the makings of a film – a boy hops on a plane and flies to a far away city. Actually that is pretty much the premise of Home Alone II: Lost in New York. However, as CNN reported a 9-year-old boy, travelling on his own and apparently without a ticket, made it through security and boarded a plane to Las Vegas.
Only after flight attendants “became suspicious of the child’s circumstances” did anyone take action.
Now on the surface this has the makings of a comedy, even if Delta Airlines said it takes the incident “very seriously.”
Consider the hassle that it typically is going through airport security these days. How is it that a child was able to get through without a ticket, and worse boarded a plane?
Maybe it sounds like I’m overreacting, but the story is far more ominous. CNN’s story noted:
“He passed his time by taking luggage from a carousel, bringing it to an airport eatery and then ditching it, asking a server to watch the bag ‘while he went to the restroom.’”
This means that a child could simply steal luggage – that’s a concern on one level. On another level the fact that he left the luggage unattended is another reason for even greater concern. The luggage carousel is outside security and is in an area where there has been some unfortunate incidents.
A bomb attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport killed 35 people and injured more than 100 more back in 2011. The explosion happened in the arrivals hall when a suicide bomber detonated an improvised device.
Take these two unrelated incidents and compare them.
It isn’t hard to believe that terrorists would recruit a child soldier, someone who could be easily manipulated into committing a horrific crime. Who watches a child move luggage around an airport, especially the area outside of security?
The other consideration is whether it could be used to smuggle drugs or some other illicit materials? The child apparently made it through security and on top a plane without question. Did he put a bag in the overhead bin?
The story doesn’t say. Could he have merely been meant to carry an item through security and on to the plane, where it could be retrieved by another individual if the child was caught – as he was?
Perhaps I’m looking at the sinister side of all this. Likely it was nothing, but I often believe the notion that just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get you. TSA agents are meant to be the first and often times the only line of defense.
The problem is that the agents tend to look at the more “obvious” supposed threats – to a degree. Children often times aren’t required to go through full body scanners when these are in place, and because of privacy concerns often don’t get pat downs.
As someone who gets normal pat downs and flies a lot I’d like to see equal treatment across the board. This won’t happen, and because of a few isolated incidents where a child was singled out kids usually get less scrutiny than others. Perhaps this is how a 9-year old was able to breach security – and let’s be 100 percent honest. The kid had no boarding pass so yes, he fully breached security.
Again, it might be nothing. But this is something that should be – and better – be reviewed very closely. This is the kind of thing where maybe someone loses their job.
If that sounds harsh, consider that if the child had a bomb, people would have lost their lives.
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