Thursday, June 30, 2011

What exactly does the TSA do?

Attention, please...

Thank goodness for the Transportation Safety Administration.

I mean, who else will pat-down suspicious-looking, terminally ill grandmothers wearing adult diapers? Who else will pat-down kids and infants? Who else can make you feel good about a nice pre-flight grope?

And, of course, doing all that takes time. And human resource allocation. And money.

Maybe that's why they're too busy to really go after people like the "interesting" guy from Nigeria (story below, via the Los Angeles Times):

A Nigerian man flew from New York to Los Angeles using an expired boarding pass that belonged to someone else, media outlets reported Thursday morning. Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi reportedly boarded Virgin American Flight 415 at New York's JFK International Airport bound for Los Angeles on Friday.

At this time, investigators are suggesting that Noibi is a tourist rather than a terrorist. Noibi apparently went through and cleared the physical screening process, but no one caught the invalid travel documents.

It wasn't until after the flight took off that attendants realized an extra passenger was on board, officials said. During the flight, crew members asked Noibi for his boarding pass and, after hesitating, he handed over a boarding pass from the day before, KTLA quotes FBI officials as confirming. That boarding pass had another person's name on it.

Noibi allegedly told the crew that the pass was outdated because he had missed that flight a day earlier.

The man whose name was on the boarding pass later told FBI officials that the document had disappeared from his back pocket when he arrived at JFK International Airport on June 23.

On arrival in Los Angeles, Noibi left the airport without being detained.

He was arrested after he returned to LAX on Wednesday and attempted to board a Delta flight bound for Atlanta, again using an expired boarding pass, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told KTLA.

Noibi allegedly told authorities he was traveling to Los Angeles to recruit people for his software business.

A search of Noibi's bags at LAX turned up more than 10 boarding passes with various individuals' names, none of which were his own, FBI officials said.

Noibi is being held at the Los Angeles County Men's Detention Center, according to reports.

So let's get this straight: This guy travels from NY to LA, gets called out for using an expired boarding pass -- that wasn't his own -- and yet he's able to move freely about the country until he returns to LAX?

Funny (not funny) seems like the people in question -- whether it's the heroes of United 93 on 9/11, or passengers dealing with the infamous "underwear bomber," or the flight crew identifying our Nigerian friend here -- are being dealt with by "civilians" -- not TSA pros. Perhaps the TSA is nabbing suspects and bad guys left and right. If they are, kudos (and let us know). If they aren't, we should know that, too.

After all, TSA, us civilians can't be everywhere...


Cali Tatum said...

TSA does not want to molest Nigerians with body odor. After all, people who have an outdated boarding pass and the wrong passport must be safe if they don't use deodorant.

Cali Tatum said...

BTW I call the TSA, Tits, Sack & Ass.