Security screening is relaxed during the lunch break. Click photo for video.
Most people have heard about the TSA’s “no-fly” list, but this man was on something similar known as “the selectee list.” The estimated 14,000 people on that list are still allowed to fly, but are selected for more rigorous screening and searches than other travelers. Yet, that’s not how it worked a few days ago — not even close.
Last Saturday, Spirit Airlines flight 381 departed out of Humphrey Terminal en route to Denver from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. A U.S. citizen whose name was once on the no-fly list and is now on the secondary security screening list known as “quad S” had a boarding pass designated with four bold S’s. It’s one of the things the screeners at the security checkpoint look for when examining a boarding pass.
Anyone who is on that watch list is supposed to get a physical pat down, and their bags are subjected to an additional check which usually involves bomb-detecting sensors. None of that happened to the man on flight 381. A spokesperson for Spirit Airlines confirmed the incident and said told Fox 9 News it was actually a Spirit employee who noticed the ticket and called the TSA. By then, however, the flight was already halfway to Denver. When flight 381 landed, the FBI and TSA were waiting for the passenger at the gate, and he went through an additional bag screening after the flight.[…]
A Minneapolis imam from a mosque associated with men who had traveled to Somalia to fight for al-Shabaab was once on the no-fly list but eventually managed to get these name taken off. A TSA spokesperson would not confirm whether any individual is on a watch list; however, sources told Fox 9 News an internal review is under way and that the confusion during a lunchtime shift change at the checkpoint may be to blame. Still, that means the Quad S passenger slipped through three layers of security, and no one was any the wiser until he was already in the air.