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Another Security Lapse at JFK: No Customs Exit for International Flight

NEW YORK, USA - SEPTEMBER 10, 2014: American Airlines Boeing 767 at New York JFK airport with some more aircrafts on background

JFK sees the second security lapse in recent months as arriving passengers exit the airport without having bags or passports checked.

It has been reported that international passengers arriving into New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) were permitted to exit JFK without passing through customs or security.

Sources confirmed to the New York Daily News that the incident, which took place on Jan. 18, 2016, meant that passengers arriving into the city on American Airlines Flight 1223 were able to leave JFK without having their passports or bags checked.

A passenger on the flight, which originated in Cancun, confirmed the security lapse to the paper. He explained to the news outlet that he was able to move from the plane to baggage claim without going through the usual U.S. Customs and Border Protection procedures.

“It’s absolutely absurd,” commented the 34-year-old business adviser, who had been in Cancun to attend three Phish concerts in the coastal Mexican city. “To think that anyone could be walking off of that plane and just get right into the city. It could be terrorists, El Chapo’s henchmen, anyone.”

The passenger explained that, despite approaching a member of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to report what had happened, he was told that that he was free to move on.

“I told them what happened and asked them what should I do. They said to me, ‘That’s fine, you’re OK. Go ahead,’” the unnamed passenger said.

Both the TSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have declined to comment on the incident.

This is the second security lapse to hit JFK in recent months. Back in November, 150 passengers arriving on another American Airlines flight from Cancun were also permitted to leave the airport without undergoing the proper security checks.

[Photo: Getty Images]

Comments are Closed.
lorcancoyle January 27, 2016

It balances out though - I've ended up clearing immigration twice on a flight to JFK. Once at prclearance and again at JFK after someone led us through the wrong door... ;)

makfan January 26, 2016

No preclearance in Mexico, but there is preclearance in Vancouver, BC.

cjzhang2000 January 26, 2016

I think the government needs to give an explanation what goes wrong.

sdsearch January 26, 2016

Vancouver BC is not "in" the United States, but it is a pre-clearance airport. But no airports in Mexico are pre-clearance airports. You can see a list of pre-clearance airports here: http://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/operations/preclearance

PHL January 26, 2016

At least in Vancouver, you pre-clear immigration and customs so you do arrive at a domestic gate after landing. It'll be another lifetime, if ever, that we see pre-clearance in Mexico for US bound flights....