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Old Jun 25, 12, 2:26 pm   #1
 
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"24 hour no-fly list with the TSA"

I think this college kid was a victim of a power tripping screener.

"...Emerson is a student at Luther College, a private school in Iowa. Through Orbitz, he’d booked a one-way ticket from Minneapolis to Tanzania via United Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines. The ticket was issued by Ethiopian, which means that it got the money from Orbitz and set the fare rules.

You can probably guess what happened next. A college student flying to Africa on a one-way ticket is bound to set off all kinds of alarms with the TSA. Sure enough, an agent pulled Emerson aside and questioned him, causing him to miss his flight. “Even though my passport is legitimate and my answers proved to be the truth, the agent could not remove me from a 24-hour no-fly list with the TSA,” Emerson says..."

http://www.elliott.org/blog/whos-res...ed-connection/
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Old Jun 25, 12, 2:42 pm   #2
 
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I'd go back to the airport and hand the FSD a bill for the ticket cost, plus the additional fare to fly back. An agent making up a BS "24-hour no-fly list" and causing someone to miss their flight would be enough for me to contact an attorney and see about a lawsuit on the grounds of unlawful detention.
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Old Jun 25, 12, 2:49 pm   #3
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Assuming that the story is accurate, I see the following apology coming from the TSA:

"We apologize if Mr. Emerson felt inconvenienced by his experience. Our primary concern is for the safety of all passengers and we believe that the organization acted appropriately in this instance."

Mike

P.S., Sorry, T.J. Bender, out for the next two weeks. You'll have to make fish puns with Goalie.
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Old Jun 25, 12, 3:22 pm   #4
 
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You forgot "out of an abundance of caution, we suggested he relax for a day before continuing his travels".
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Old Jun 25, 12, 4:06 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeef View Post
Assuming that the story is accurate, I see the following apology coming from the TSA:

"We apologize if Mr. Emerson felt inconvenienced by his experience. Our primary concern is for the safety of all passengers and we believe that the organization acted appropriately in this instance."

Mike

P.S., Sorry, T.J. Bender, out for the next two weeks. You'll have to make fish puns with Goalie.
I anticipate an apology more like this:

"We apologize if Mr. Emerson felt that he was inconvenienced by this experience. Our officers were concerned that Mr. Emerson might pose a safety threat and acted accordingly and appropriately in denying him access to the sterile area. We have been unable to corroborate Mr. Emerson's claim of being placed on a '24-hour no-fly list,' and can confirm that such a list does not exist within the TSA."

Also, wherever you're going, have a kick-bass time, and avoid the crappie airline food as much as you can.
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Old Jun 25, 12, 4:21 pm   #6
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How would the TSA know after checkin. All they see is the idea and the BP for a flight to DC or wherever his connection took off from.
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Old Jun 25, 12, 5:37 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
How would the TSA know after checkin. All they see is the idea and the BP for a flight to DC or wherever his connection took off from.
Unless he volunteered the information during the 'chat-down'.

The moral is.... well, you know.
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Old Jun 25, 12, 9:07 pm   #8
 
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Something is missing from the story here. TSA doesn't question people about foreign countries' entry requirements. Did TSA refuse to let him fly? Or was he running late and when he was selected for additional screening he missed his flight?
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Old Jun 25, 12, 9:37 pm   #9
 
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I think the questioning was more about why the one way ticket, etc. My impression is that the visa issue was not raised until the rebooking process began. That being said, I bet the student gave too much information when chatting with the document checker or whomever he came into contact with.
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Old Jun 26, 12, 4:20 am   #10
 
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What the He** was TSA at MSP doing asking questions like this anyway? (Even accounting for bad reporting and mis-identification of parties by the media, there's no other government agency that could have contacted Emerson at MSP like that unless he had been flagged by federal LEOs and they sent one for him specifically.)

Emerson was traveling on a *domestic* flight to Washington, presumably IAD. And I'll stereotype a bit based on the name, the college, and 30 seconds on facebook, and assume that "Jeff Emerson" is a white native-born US citizen. The article and everyone here seems to be missing the point that the issue is TSA acting way out of scope, not airline policy.

This case is a perfect example of why one should never play the 20 questions game with TSA and why one should never show TSA any onward boarding pass, especially an international one.

The kid's "mistake" was probably being too enthusiastic about what may have been his first overseas trip, probably using his passport as ID and taking the occasion to boast to the TDC about where he was going. Any smart East German would have not volunteered such information to the authorities, and it seems Americans have to learn the same lesson.

Question: Does MSP use boarding pass scanners at the TDC? Is it possible that the SecureFlight information (which would include destination and might note a 1-way ticket) is being processed and then a flag sent to the scanners about who to question at TDC? That would be a substantial and disturbing development if so.
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Old Jun 26, 12, 7:41 am   #11
 
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More information was posted by the student's brother:

"I'm Jeff's brother and have a few additions to clarify the story. Jeff is an extremely travelled individual for his age, having made multiple prior trips to Europe and Africa (including Tanzania). He has a US passport and had the required visa for Tanzania. He is a well-dressed typical college student from rural Iowa. He was doing volunteer work for a school-sponsored program, which paid for his transportation to get there and left Jeff with few choices on how it was purchased. Jeff wanted to spend a few weeks vacationing in Europe after his time in Tanzania, but his school would not pay for his vacation travel. Therefore, the school bought the one-way ticket to Tanzania and Jeff bought a separate ticket leaving Tanzania to go to Europe, then eventually back home. He showed up to the airport hours before his flight, with plenty of documentation showing his summer plans. Somehow, the TSA had prior knowledge of his unusual itenerary and met him at the check-in counter for questioning. The TSA agent told him that they would need to further investigate his plans and he would have to wait atleast 24 hours to check back to see if he was cleared to fly."
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Old Jun 26, 12, 7:42 am   #12
 
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My guess is that the airline flagged him for secondary screening because it was a one way ticket. So his boarding pass had the secondary screening codes printed or scribbled on it. Then something went wrong with TSA during that process.
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Old Jun 26, 12, 8:24 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by mules View Post
More information was posted by the student's brothersnip)
I don't see that this clarifies anything.

Assuming he's correct in stating the problem started at check-in and not with the TDC (as I postulated), then I don't see the TSA's involvement at all. The 'agent' was perhaps mis-identified, being in fact an airline employee alerted by an (apparently) missing Ethiopian visa or something, but I still don't understand how that would come into play on the MSP-IAD segment.



If the kid got the wrong end of the stick or misconstrued the explanation(s), we'll probably never know exactly what happened. Don't think it was a TSA 24-hour NFL thing at all though.
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Old Jun 26, 12, 8:39 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Wally Bird View Post
Assuming he's correct in stating the problem started at check-in and not with the TDC (as I postulated), then I don't see the TSA's involvement at all. The 'agent' was perhaps mis-identified, being in fact an airline employee alerted by an (apparently) missing Ethiopian visa or something, but I still don't understand how that would come into play on the MSP-IAD segment.
It's not unheard of, at least anecdotally, for the TSA to approach someone at the check-in counter, even though their jurisdiction ends at the checkpoint line. Who else would take issue with the student flying out to Africa on a one-way ticket? Customs wouldn't care. The FBI, maybe, but they've got bigger fish to fry and don't typically have agents stationed at airports.

My vote is still that it was an FSD or AFSD who grabbed the student and fed him the BS "24-hour" line.
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Old Jun 26, 12, 9:56 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by T.J. Bender View Post
Who else would take issue with the student flying out to Africa on a one-way ticket?
The airline. If a passenger is inadmissible at destination, the airline is required to repatriate FOC.

Like I said, I don't know why this would come up at MSP instead of IAD.
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