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Mon, Jan 18, 2010

American Airlines Blamed For JFK Security Breach

Passenger Caused Hours Of Delay And Rescreening

American Airlines (AAL) is being blamed for a security breach on Saturday that led to the evacuation and rescreening of all passengers in Terminal 8 at JFK.  An arriving passenger went through an airline door that was supposed to be secure, setting off alarms and prompting the evacuation.

Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said that AAL was responsible for the door. "It's their terminal," he said.

Terminal 8 handles all the domestic and international flights at JSFL for American Airlines.
An AAL spokesman said the cause of the incident "certainly would have to come from the TSA or Port Authority, since they're the ones investigating."

This security breach happened in Terminal 8 around 3:30pm when a man that had just arrived at JFK on a flight from Orlando went through a door that was supposed to be secured. The Port Authority said they identified the man and were searching for him, but he is not at the airport or in custody.


Passengers evacuating JFK - photo via Twitter/RYANGP

Immediately after the incident, announcements in the terminal asked passengers to move back through security for re-screening.  Passengers already aboard aircraft were deplaned and rescreened.

Around 6pm, passengers were being processed back through TSA on a flight by flight basis.  Incoming flights were held on the tarmac for up to an hour during the incident.  AAL and JFK websites show outbound flights were delayed 2-3 hours.

FMI: www.aa.com

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