A Republican report denouncing the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) as an incompetent bureaucracy rang true after a woman said screeners at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., airport waved her through, even though she had someone else’s boarding pass.
Lindsey Dimattina told WSVN-TV
that the incident occurred on Sunday morning as she was boarding a Delta flight to New York’s LaGuardia International Airport.
An initial screener did a poor job of checking her ID and an erroneous boarding pass that Delta had issued her, Dimattina said. "Usually, they have to look at it before they let you into the boarding area. Didn't even look at it, didn't look at any of the people around me, any of their boarding passes."
She then produced her ID and the boarding pass for a second screener. "He looked at my driver's license, then looked at my boarding pass with his flashlight. He looked at the driver's license and then at my boarding pass, signed off on the boarding pass about three times," Dimattina said during an interview with WSVN.
It wasn’t until she boarded Flight 1498 and attempted to claim seat 12D that she and another passenger with the same first name discovered what TSA screeners had missed.
"A girl comes up to me and she goes, 'I have seat 12D,' and I go, 'No, I have 12D,' and so we called the stewardess over to help us and as we are waiting, we looked at our boarding passes and my boarding pass had her name on it," Dimattina said. “They let me through with someone else’s name.”
Dimattina and the other passengers were incredulous. “We can't believe that happened. That makes us so uncomfortable . . . I can't believe they just let someone walk through security like that with someone else's name," she said.
Flight attendants gave Dimattina a new seat but not a corrected boarding pass, and the plane took off. When Dimattina called Delta to report the incident after the plane landed, she was given a voucher toward a future flight.
She also reported the incident to Fort Lauderdale airport officials, who promised to look into her concerns.
“It scares me to the fact that I’m not a threat. But anyone who could possibly be a threat this could happen,” Dimattina said.
As for the TSA, the agency issued a statement to Newsmax saying it is reviewing the allegations.
“Passengers are subject to a robust security system that employs multiple layers, including thorough screening of every passenger at the checkpoint, the presence of behavior detection officers, federal air marshals, armed pilots and a vigilant public, as well as many others, both seen and unseen,” the statement says.
“The system is designed so if one layer of security does not meet our standards, there are many others in place to ensure the safety of the traveling public,” according to the statement.
The critical Republican report came on Nov. 16, when Rep. John Mica accused the agency of “straying” from its security mission and becoming a top-heavy bureaucracy with 3,986 headquarters staff, making an average of $103,852 a year, and 9,656 administrators in the field.
The Florida Republican, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, acknowledged that Americans are safer now than they were when the TSA was created a decade ago in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks of 9/11. But the government agency doesn’t deserve the credit, Mica insisted, instead citing the vigilance of American citizens and passengers, as Newsmax
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