Thursday, July 26, 2007

Coral Springs boy, 7, on no-fly list has been delayed at airport three times

OrlandoSentinel.com: "Michael Martin went through a hassle trying to fly out of Fort Lauderdale recently because his name was on a no-fly list. Rather than protest to authorities, he nervously turned to his mom for comfort.
"He thought he did something wrong," his mother, Krista Martin, 36, of Coral Springs, said.
Michael Martin is only 7 years old, a typical youngster who enjoys skateboarding and playing drums. Because he shares a name with a known or suspected terrorist, he has run into roadblocks three times before boarding an airliner, Krista Martin said.
Each time, she was unable to quickly obtain a boarding pass for him online or via an airport kiosk. She had to march to a check-in counter to sort things out, which she said was mostly an inconvenience but also "exasperating."
At the time she makes reservations, she said she lets the airline know her son's age. But she still ends up being denied ease of booking and boarding, she said.
"It's been happening since 9-11," she said. "I just think it's kind of ridiculous to put a 7-year-old boy on a no-fly list."
The no-fly list is compiled by the Transportation Security Administration and includes only people who are a "known threat to aviation," said agency spokesman Christopher White. That means known or suspected terrorists, not unruly passengers, he said.
The list includes detailed information about each person on it, including law enforcement records. The idea is to avoid confusing a real terrorist with an innocent passenger, officials said.
Still, Michael Martin — the child — most recently ran into problems on July 3, when his mother booked a flight on AirTran Airways to Baltimore for vacation. After a kiosk refused to spit out a boarding pass, she asked an airline agent if there was a problem.
"She made a funny face and said, 'Oh, he's on a no-fly list,'" Krista Martin said. "They looked at him and immediately realized he was only 7.""

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