Hundreds of travelers at New York’s JFK Airport who’d already gone through security screenings were forced to do the unthinkable — get in line and do it all over again. It happened Saturday when it was discovered that one of the TSA agents didn’t know his metal detector had been unplugged all morning.
The error led to hours of delays, two planes called back from the runway, and understandable anger and frustration for passengers. Even law enforcement officials were bewildered by how the mistake could’ve happened.
“The truth is, this is the failure of the most basic level of diligence,” a source said. “How can you expect the public to feel confident of the mission of the TSA if they don’t even know if the lights are turned on?”
As for the TSA itself, the agency wouldn’t confirm or deny the unplugged detector story, saying in a statement only that a metal detector suffered a “malfunction.”
Many passengers were furious about the disruption to their travel plans, but others took it in stride. Jason Bailey, who was headed to San Diego, said, “It’s a big inconvenience, but it’s better safe than sorry.”