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Saturday, January 30, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

Via USAT’s OnDeadline:  Jet diverted to Florida by ‘no-fly’ scare, but no threat.

An airliner has been diverted to Florida because a passenger on the no-fly list might be on board, the Associated Press is reporting, citing "officials."

The flight originated in Newark, was headed to Bogotá, Colombia and was diverted to Florida.

This caught my eye originally because I am flying to Bogotá in about a month (although, thankfully, not out of Newark).

The second thought was:  isn’t the point of a “no-fly list” that the person on the list isn’t allowed to fly?  How does said person end up on the plane and then someone says “Hey!  Who let that guy on?”  This strikes me as a rather poor procedure.

Ends up that there was no threat.  While there is certainly a sense to which better safe than sorry and all that, this sounds like a failure (yet again) of the no-fly list (not to mention a process which unnecessarily frightened a plane full of people, as well as seriously inconveniencing them).

More from the Morning Call,  Newark-to-Bogota flight diverted:

A Continental Airlines jet flying from Newark, N.J., to Bogota was diverted to Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday over concerns a passenger was on the government’s watch list of suspected terrorists banned from commercial flights. It turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

The passenger — one of 75 on board — was cleared by the FBI at Jacksonville International Airport and permitted to continue on the flight to Colombia, the Transportation Security Administration said.

More from NBC New York:  Newark Flight Diverted Over No-Fly List Fears.

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