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24 Hour Flying Ban for Explosive Comment

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24 Hour Flying Ban for Explosive Comment

Old 31st Jan 2004, 07:16
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24 Hour Flying Ban for Explosive Comment

Flight Delayed After Explosive Comment

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: January 30, 2004


Filed at 6:44 p.m. ET

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A man was barred from flying for 24 hours after he made a comment about an explosive device in his hand-held computer as his plane was about to take off from Salt Lake City on Friday, officials said.

Passenger Joel Carson was taken off the Southwest Airlines flight to Las Vegas, cited for allegedly disturbing the peace and released by airport police. His home town and age were not immediately available.

Carson was barred by the Transportation Security Administration from flying for 24 hours, Salt Lake City International Airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann said.

The other 118 passengers aboard the plane were re-screened and the cargo rechecked before the flight departed Salt Lake City about 2 1/2 hours later.

The aircraft was pushing back from the terminal when Carson allegedly made the comment after passengers were asked to turn off their electronic devices. Another passenger told a flight attendant and the pilot returned the craft to the terminal.
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Old 31st Jan 2004, 10:41
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...and your point is?
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Old 31st Jan 2004, 11:05
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Well (assuming the report bears some resemblance to the truth) there's one point worth discussing, IMHO:

Carson was barred by the Transportation Security Administration from flying for 24 hours
Say again?

Granted, the pax, on the above reports, was a jerk. Granted, he's lucky not to be facing worse. Granted, the airline (any airline) would not be entirely unjustified in telling him to get lost if he tried to fly with them again. I grant all of the above, and more.

But where is it written that the TSA can act as judge & jury, and impose a 24-hour flying ban as a form of summary punishment?

I've spent a large part of the year in the USA for several years now, and it's the first I've heard of this power. Whole potential can of worms here. How long can they 'ground' pax for? What if the pax defies the ban and attempts to fly again whilst banned? What sanctions does he face? More importantly for us, what sanctions might an operator face for unwittingly transporting a 'banned' pax? Does the ban only cover public flights, or can he whistle up the corporate Lear and fly on that?

Sounds suspiciously like the TSA making up new rules as they go along.

Again.

R1, perturbed
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Old 31st Jan 2004, 11:30
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Of course the Department of State Security can do what they like!!.
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Old 31st Jan 2004, 15:32
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I think that was fair and reasonable action under the circumstance...unlike the recent girl in MIA...if I was her brief I would be using this as an objection/precedent in her trial
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Old 31st Jan 2004, 23:06
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> But where is it written that the TSA can act as judge & jury,
> and impose a 24-hour flying ban as a form of summary
> punishment?

Well I'm sure the conversation went more like...

"what do you prefer? Accept a 24 hour ban or take your chances in court? Before you answer, remember what happened to the last person."
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Old 1st Feb 2004, 02:08
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Lucky Guy

The guy should consider himself lucky. OK, the story is vague, but if he really did say that his palm pilot or whatever was an explosive device, he should have been arrested and charged.

The vagueness of the report leads me to believe that there were some mitigating circumstances. The TSA people usually don't let people off with a slap on the wrist.
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Old 1st Feb 2004, 04:00
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Vegas

The fact he was going to Vegas explains a lot...and on Southwest too. Ever gone to Sky Harbor in Phoenix between 14:00 and 19:00 on a Friday afternoon. The Southwest and America West Terminals are one giant party spilling out into the concourses and the gates.

People are ready for a good time, thinking about winning and having some fun. I'm not excusing this jerks comment, but it is a fairly typical mindset for people going to Vegas. They lose all sense of reality upon arriving at the airport. The flights are the most boisterous, fun and noisiest flights going anywhere. Of course the return trips from Vegas are exactly the opposite :-(

Newarksmells
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Old 3rd Feb 2004, 08:18
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but if he really did say that his palm pilot or whatever was an explosive device, he should have been arrested and charged
Why?

The comment may have been inappropriate and not very funny but it was presumably a weak attempt at a joke. Not really a arresting and charging matter is it?

Remember this sense of humour failure actually impedes efficient security measures not helps them.

SoS
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Old 3rd Feb 2004, 08:49
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Note: The 'inappropriate " remark was to another passenger, not to airline or security staff"

"Ladies and gentlement please secure your seat belts, make sure your seats are in the upright position and turn off all laptops, cell phones and other electronics"

"What for? Do they think this might be an explosive? It's already been inspected three times."

"OI, you there, off this plane - now."

Apparently the terrorists are still winning.
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Old 3rd Feb 2004, 13:13
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I have made a few comments on this in the past, and things have changed a little since then, but..we do need to still set an example for fair and natural justice.

Now that there have been several cases against people that make foolish comments in and around aircraft...the news should have got round. Don't do it. It is in bad taste, and may make nervous pax even more so. It also could distract crews- of all sorts,- from spotting a real threat.

But it must be made quite clear to some (rather silly) but no doubt nervous souls, trying to look his macho best in front of his peers, that he simply is not allowed to do this any more, for reasons stated alongside the announcements about abandoned baggage for instance.

It isn't, and never had been, acceptable to haul a man off a transatlantic flight, cause him to spend the night in a London nik, and then ban him from the airline for life. Simply for making a crack about his cello case containing a gat. This was before 9/11 by the way. It was thought to be at that time deterrent punishment, something that i find worse than the typical crime that it's aimed at. However, had he be warned at the approach to the checkout, then that is quite a different matter.

Not knowing the law is not usually a defense, but not knowing what is being manipulated with other laws until a proper one is fine-tuned, is again a reason to treat the silly git for what he is.
A serious rollicking in front of the other pax would let everyone know how much the humor is appreciated. And if this is not enough the ensuing detailed search might add to the lesson. But what ever "we" do, they should be warned first.
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Old 3rd Feb 2004, 20:57
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The TSA could have allowed this dumb pax to continue on the flight after unscrewing and completely disassembling his laptop for a thorough internal inspection. ...And handing the disassembled parts back to the pax in a TSA logoed paper bag
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Old 3rd Feb 2004, 21:00
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In light of the increased security measures in virtually every aspect of life in the last two years, it's difficult to believe that he wasn't aware that his comments would have some implications on the flight departing.
Imagine the consequences if his comments had been ignored and something had happened.

The airport authority are perfectly within their rights to stop him from flying for any period time for his actions, this provision is contained within the local bylaws of the vast majority of airports worldwide.
Equally, the airline should be applauded if they decide not to accept him as a passenger at any time in the future.

People like this cost the industry thousands of pounds each time they commit such jolly japes, not counting the inconvenience it causes to the other passengers on the flight.
It's just a shame they don't have the legal recourse to recover their costs.
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Old 3rd Feb 2004, 22:21
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Da bomb

He probably said "My PDA's da BOMB!"
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Old 3rd Feb 2004, 23:00
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Now, what's all this about your cello case containing a cat? I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to come stand in the "cat in the cello case line" for further screening.
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Old 4th Feb 2004, 01:56
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The TSA could have allowed this dumb pax to continue on the flight after unscrewing and completely disassembling his laptop for a thorough internal inspection. ...And handing the disassembled parts back to the pax in a TSA logoed paper bag
A very mature and considered response!

So criminal damage to pax property is the right way to go about increasing security?

SoS
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Old 4th Feb 2004, 05:34
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A fellow pilot was being searched at the crew security office at Gatwickwhen he noticed that the security individual was examining his ATPL page by page so enquired whether he was looking for a bomb in his ATPL document. "Bomb! he said bomb!" said the security operative-they are not chosen for their intellectual capacity-and the flight was cancelled and the Captain grounded pending investigation. The fault did not lie with the security individual-and I refuse to call him an Officer-nor with the Captain but with the Airline Manager who condoned the Security Service even contemplating questioning the Captains remark as being a serious security risk. Whilst passengers, including crew in transit, should be aware that dumb remarks are not tolerated, so should we be assured that the security personnel at airports are not totally witless.
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