Kenneth F. Belva

Executive Jailed After Airport Bomb Question and TSA Rant

This is not the place to determine what was really said or meant by this executive, but according to the Daily News:

“The question [to the gate attendant] that got me into trouble was, ‘Isn’t it a security risk to let my bag travel without the passenger when there could be a bomb in the bag?'” Baez said.

The short answer is, “No. The bag would not be a security risk if it was properly screened, irregardless of whether or not it was accompanied by a passenger.”

If the bag passed through all of the security screening requirements, then the bag should not be a security risk.  Imagine this scenario: One checks in at the front desk and the attendant puts one’s bags on the conveyor belt behind the counter. The bag is thoroughly checked (x-rayed, searched by TSA, etc.) and is loaded on the plane. Upshot: no security issue in this case.

An individual checks in to board and is screened by security before walking to the gate. The bag is searched and cleared. Upshot: no security issue, even if the passenger boards the plane, leaves the bag in the overhead compartment and walks off the plane.

Might there still be a potential security issue? Sure, if the person acted in collusion with others. Many people each sneak a part of a larger bomb through security, assemble it in the bathroom and board it on the plane. If one reads the article, that’s not likely what happened. The Daily News reports:

Baez, who earns $190,000-a-year and has homes in Manhattan and Texas, was returning from a business trip in Costa Rica last Tuesday when she was blocked by a gate attendant from boarding JetBlue Flight 1061 to Austin, Tex., because the jetway had closed.

Her suitcase was already aboard the aircraft.

“What if I had a bomb in my bag?” the 44-year-old told the gate attendant, according to the federal complaint. “Well, I have a bomb in my bag, so are you guys going to turn the plane around cuz I need my bag.”

Baez then raged that the Transportation Security Administration “does not know how to do their f—— job because if it did TSA would not catch it and let it go through,” authorities said.

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