That dear readers, is the short version of a breakdown in security.
The moronic incident took place on board a GoJet flight, operating as United Express. The plane departed St. Louis airport, destined for O’Hare. Before take-off, the ground computers used to check for bad guys were not working.
Once the plane was on its way, someone managed to kick some sense into the computers, and noticed that the plane was carrying someone who on the government list of people suspected of something bad. The airline ordered their plane to return back to St. Louis.
Once on the ground, the ground staff came to the conclusion that the bad guy wasn’t really a bad guy, and that he was not the same person as the one on the list. Still with us?
Seriously – you can’t make this stuff up. First we let people fly who are on a watch list, then we let planes take off with someone who may or may not be on the list. The stupidest part? The time the plane took to turn around and land at St. Louis airport is probably only 20 minutes less than it would have taken to fly on to Chicago. Didn’t someone think that if the bad guy really was a terrorist, that turning around minutes into the flight may have been more suspicious than just going on to its destination, and checking him out there?
We don’t need terrorist to screw up air travel – we are doing a mighty fine job on our own.