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Hundreds Of Passengers Bypass Airport Security Measures

Hundreds of people have bypassed Transportation Security Administration measures at airports in the past 12 months, the agency told The Washington Post, revealing a vulnerability that has been reflected in a series of incidents. In November, two women were arrested at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for breaching a secured exit when they were running late to their flight. A ticketed traveler at Palm Springs International Airport walked through an unstaffed body scanner on Feb. 22, leading authorities to evacuate post-security areas as a precaution. Also in February, a woman at the Nashville International Airport bypassed TSA officers who check IDs and sneaked into the bag-screening line. After her belongings passed through the X-ray, she boarded an American Airlines flight without a ticket. She flew to Los Angeles, where she was detained by the FBI. “It is a larger problem than we realized,” said TSA spokesperson R. Carter Langston.


Since March 2023, there have been at least 300 instances of people bypassing security. Langston described security breaches as a “trend” that the agency is attempting to mitigate. Security experts say airports and airplanes remain some of the safest public spaces. A rise in breaches increases the chances, no matter how small, of a dangerous passenger sneaking through. Since March 2023, TSA reported more than 200 people breached "exit lanes" that direct passengers to leave “sterile,” post-security terminals so they can get to pre-security areas like baggage claim and passenger pickup zones. These areas are often marked with “no reentry” signs. Another 80 people evaded the travel document checker, or TDC podium, where TSA agents review travelers’ IDs and boarding passes. Langston said that amounts to about one person in 10 million.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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