I didn’t see this story over the weekend, but that might be because it didn’t get nearly the coverage it should have.
(LOS ANGELES) — A man acted strangely long before he caused a disturbance on a plane that prompted fighter jets to accompany it to Hawaii, but a lack of communication and an airline’s hesitancy to be caught on video booting a passenger could have played a role in allowing him to fly, experts say.
Anil Uskanli, 25, of Turkey, had purchased a ticket at an airline counter in the middle of the night with no luggage and had been arrested after opening a door to a restricted airfield at Los Angeles International Airport. Airport police did not notify the airline, but they said it isn’t common practice.
Sure, it’s perfectly normal for a man from the Middle East to buy a ticket (the article doesn’t say if he paid cash), have no luggage and breach a secured door to a restricted area. Happens all the time. Well, not really.
But Uskanli went through a security screening without raising suspicion and only drew the attention when he opened a door leading to an airfield ramp around 2:45 a.m.
Airport police said he smelled of alcohol but was not intoxicated enough to be charged with public drunkenness, so he was given a summons to appear in court and released.
Great work by LA’s finest. The guy goes through a security door, you know the kind that you need an ID card AND a PIN code to get through, and is given the equivalent of a traffic ticket then sent on his merry way. Nor did the police inform either TSA or the airline about this little incident.
Police said officers confiscated his boarding pass and walked him to a public area of the airport. He got another boarding pass and went through security again.
You would think that maybe the airline staff might be a bit curious about what happened to his first boarding pass, but my guess here is that the airline employee didn’t want to deal with the potential of being accused of being a racist so bought whatever idiotic excuse our buddy Anil came up with . BTW, Anil is 25, right in the wheelhouse of the age bracket that is usually involved in this kind of thing. That should have made some folks suspicious as well.
Jeffrey Price, an aviation security professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, said the recent spate of online videos showing airlines mistreating customers may have played a role, making airline employees less likely to confront a passenger or eject Uskanli from the plane.
“There is probably some hesitancy, a little more tolerance even, of passenger behavior,” he said. “Nobody wants to be the next YouTube star.”
Good spot to start my spittle flecked rant,
United made a horrible mistake when they apologized to the guy who threw a temper tantrum and refused to get off the plane. Their humiliation/apology tour followed by settling with the guy set the tone.
Now, every Asshole who doesn’t get an extra bag of peanuts is going to throw a temper tantrum and someone is going to video it. No one wants to be on YouTube and the various national news outlets being mean to someone because that someone decided that the rules don’t apply to them. No one wants to risk their job because they know that their bosses aren’t going to back them up when the shit hits the media fan. No one want the “Internet” to tag them as a racist and publish their home address or cell phone number.
This was also a failure of various agencies at the airport to communicate with each other. The cops should have warned American and the TSA after the guy was issued the equivalent of a traffic ticket. Then AA and the TSA should have taken a hard look at the guy. Of course, that wouldn’t happen because they don’t want to be tagged as racists either.
Since September 11, 2001, the federal government has doled out billions of dollars to state, local, federal, and even private agencies to improve security and enhance “interoperability”. Yet, the LA airport police, American Airlines, and TSA, all in the same complex couldn’t or wouldn’t communicate with each other about this guy. No one could pick up a phone or walk over to the American counter and tell them that they might not want to let this guy on their plane.
It was only when Anil started trying to gain entry to the cockpit of the airplane when someone started to think that this guy might be some sort of threat.
During the six-hour flight, Uskanli had his head swathed in a blanket and passengers said he pounded on walls after someone opened the restroom door he had left unlocked.
He tried to get to the front of the plane, and a flight attendant used a drink cart to block Uskanli. He placed his laptop on the cart, and flight attendants feared it might contain explosives.
That prompted the captain to initiate bomb-threat procedures, and fighter jets escorted the plane to Honolulu. The secretary of Homeland Security was briefed.
When this clown, or some other hero of the Jihad succeeds in blowing up a plane over the Pacific, everyone will want to know how he got through. Then they’ll scream for more screening for about a week or so. All the while piously telling us that this has nothing to do with his religion.