TSA agent wanted on traffic violations – bypasses security at the airport

Another of the TSA’s finest was arrested on Friday as she tried to board a Houston bound Continental plane at Newark airport.

Wanda Weems, of Newark New Jersey is a TSA agent, and for reasons unknown to us, she decided that she was too important to deal with things like airport security.

Instead of standing in line like the rest of us, she used her TSA credentials and a staff line to enter the secure area of the airport, which also means her belongings were not screened.

Before the plane was able to take off, she was arrested, where a police investigation showed that she was wanted on traffic warrants.

Because of the security breach, the flight was delayed for over an hour as all the passengers were told to disembark for re-screening.

I’m actually quite impressed with the way the TSA handled this – someone tried to bypass security, and somewhere in the system the authorities were alerted. I’m not sure whether this is just a coincidence, or whether the TSA actually implemented checks to prevent this from happening. Either way, another rotten apple has been removed from the ranks of the TSA.

Continental Airlines flies ten year old girl to the wrong airport

About a month ago, we wrote about an airline serving an unaccompanied minor a large cup of coffee. If you thought that was reckless behavior, you are going to be outraged by what Continental Airlines did to a minor traveling under their supervision.

The airline had been paid to accompany a ten year old on a flight from Boston to Cleveland, a pretty simple task, especially since this is just a 45 minute flight.

Sadly, the airline staff are apparently not capable of reading signs, because they put this poor girl on the wrong flight.

Instead of flying to Cleveland, Continental Airlines flew her to Newark. To add insult to injury, they then called her grandparents asking them to come pick her up, even though their paperwork showed an Ohio address and they were calling an Ohio phone number.

It took Continental Airlines 45 minutes to discover their terrible mistake, helped by the fact that 2 grandparents were at an airport to pick up a child who was actually 450 miles away.

Continental refunded the unaccompanied minor fee, and put the kid on a plane to Cleveland within an hour. The whole story boggles the mind – they put a kid on the wrong plane, nobody noticed an extra passenger on the wrong plane, nobody noticed a missing minor on the correct flight, and nobody noticed they had received a ten year old girl at an airport where she was not supposed to be.

As always, this is just one side of the story, hopefully we’ll get a response from Continental Airlines telling their side of the story.


**Update!!** According to the Boston Globe, it now appears that two unaccompanied minors were lost by Continental Airlines! One young woman was accidentally sent to Fayetteville, Arkansas instead of Charlotte, NC while the other was sent to Cleveland instead of Newark. Whether these happened on the same day at the same gate is unclear right now — the Globe seems to have conflicting statements — but to have lost two minors over any period is surely a disaster!

(Via Consumerist.com)

Wine flights taking off in Newark Liberty’s Terminal C

I tend to be a little anal-retentive when it comes to getting to the airport on-time for a flight. As such, I end up arriving a good 2+ hours before take-off. The upside is that, in all of my travels, I have only missed two flights because of my tardiness. The downside is that I’ve had to kill a tremendous amount of time in airports. Despite the fact that they are made for waiting, airport terminals are pretty much the epitome of lame. Most are devoid of decent food options and full of stores that sell schlock and overpriced bags of mixed nuts. But in recent years, some terminals have started to…get this…cater to travelers! And Newark Liberty Airport’s Terminal C is now one of those terminals.

Terminal C is home to Continental Airlines and some of the best food and drinks you will find in an airport. For anyone who has ever forced down some scolding hot Sbarro’s pizza or hockey puck-like fast food burgers while waiting for a flight, Terminal C’s offerings are a sight for sore stomachs.

There’s the Heineken Lounge, Sam Adams bar and Guinness Irish Pub, which provide travelers with a chance to make flying a tad more bearable without having to sit in a drab airport bar. And Vino Volo offers customers wine flights of selections from around the world. And if you find a wine that you like, you can purchase bottles to take away or have shipped to you.

I never understood why waiting for a flight had to be so torturous. Not everyone can afford to have access to lounges, but that doesn’t mean that the main terminal should look like a mall food court. There’s a happy medium and Newark Liberty Airport’s Terminal C seems to have found that and even exceeded it a bit. Now my only concern is getting distracted at one of the bars and missing my flight!