Heading into President’s Day weekend, New York’s John F. Kennedy international airport Twitter account alerted travelers that with the anticipated increase in passenger volume, they should “allow extra time for on-airport travel, check-in & security screening.” One would think that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would have implemented additional security precautions heading into the holiday weekend, but that does not seem to have been the case.
Eleven people were able to board planes without undergoing TSA security screenings after TSA officials mistakenly left a security lane open and unattended. As the eleven people walked through the unattended security checkpoint, three of them set off the metal detector, which would normally lead to further screening.
Port Authority police spokesman Joe Pentangelo told NBC News that police officers had canvassed the terminal looking for the eleven passengers, but failed to find any of them. TSA officials didn’t alert the police until two hours after the breach in security had occurred.
Of the eleven passengers, three were identified as passengers on a California-bound flight and were “expected to be screened once they land;” the eight others remain unidentified.
“We are confident this incident presents no threat to the aviation transportation system,” TSA said in a statement. “Once our review is complete, TSA will discipline and retrain employees as appropriate.”