April 8th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

Terminals reopened LAX shut after bag incident

iReporter Lalith Caldera sent this photo from the United terminal where everyone was asked to stay where they were.

[Updated at 11:00 a.m.] Two terminals at Los Angeles International airport were reopened by 6:45 a.m. (9:45 a.m. ET) after airport police located the owner of a bag that had passed through security, airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles said.

The TSA said the passenger's bag was "flagged" for secondary screening, but the passenger picked up the bag and took it out of the security area. TSA
and law enforcement officials canvassed the terminal to locate the passenger, TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said.

Once the passenger was found, he was interviewed by authorities.  He was rescreened - along with his bag - and was allowed to continue to his flight.

[Updated at 10:23 a.m.] The Los Angeles International Airport warned of further flight delays and asked passengers to check their flight status before heading to the airport after a bag incident shut down two terminals Thursday.

CNN photojournalist Styke Dimas boarded a United flight to Denver at 5:30 a.m. but still hadn't taken off more than an hour later. Passengers were told they're not allowed to leave the plane and part of the flight crew is stuck outside the terminal because of the security situation, Dimas said.

iReporter Lalith Caldera, who sent photos from the terminal and said he and others been forced by security to stop where he was walking, said he was now able to board his flight.

[Updated at 9:43 a.m] iReporter Lalith Caldera, who was supposed to be flying from Los Angeles to Buffalo, said he had just cleared security at the United terminal when authorities told everyone to stop where they were walking.

Caldera says he's been waiting about an hour and it doesn't look like any flights are taking off.

"It's just frozen in time," he said of the airport.

[Posted at 9:16 a.m.] Two terminals at Los Angeles International Airport were shut down Thursday because of a passenger's bag, the Transportation Security Administration said.

The shutdown, which happened around 5:10 a.m. (8:10 a.m. ET), caused flights to be delayed and hundreds of passengers to be backed up at security, CNN Senior Producer Michael Cary reported from one of the affected terminals.

The TSA said a passenger's bag was "flagged" for secondary screening, but the passenger picked up the bag and made it past the security area. TSA and law enforcement officials were canvassing the terminal to locate the passenger, TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said.

The shutdown affects terminal 6 - which serves Aeromexico, Continental, Copa Airlines, United, and Virgin America - and Terminal 7, which serves only United. It was not clear at which terminal the incident happened.

The airport has nine terminals.

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Jack

    So when the TSA won't let people off the airplanes and they've been on there for more than 3 hours, is the DOT going to fine themselves? But seriously......the screeners at LAX are probably the most inattentive in the country....too busy talking and cackling with each other.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jake

    We were stuck in terminal 5 this morning after arriving from Hawaii at 5 this morning. We had already been up all night on the plane and to us it really felt like 2am. After we got off our plane we were instructed to immediately sit down and wait. For two hours we sat outside the gate and were never told why we were there. Most suspected some kind of emergency, and I had read on my phone before we left Hawaii about the incident in Colorado. Even the airline employees were kept in the dark and they weren't totally sure that it wasn't because of terrorism. Altogether a tiring and long trip back from paradise.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cheeko

    In my personal experience, TSA personel are rude and have no respect for the general public.......I even witnessed them harrasing an older gentleman who had a cane and could barely walk, poor guy was taken off to the side for additional screening and looked as if he was going to cry....unbelievable...God help us all....

    April 8, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. steve

    Lets not forget about the guy that walked off... He couldn't follow simple directions. Shame on him, I think he should get a minor jail sentence for being so ignorant

    April 8, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. Yvette

    Doesn't the Koran forbid lying? Don't these Muslim extremist claim to be following the Koran? Isn't Allah against telling lies? Well then weeding out the sickos who want to blow us up and kill America should be very easy. When they get to the gate you simply ask them "Do you have explosives? Do you intend to bring harm to the people on this plane? Remind them that Allah is listening to their answer. They will then tell you the truth "Yes I want to kill American's...I cannot lie" Then all the TSA worker has to do is calmly take them by the hand and lead them away. Simple. The truth shall set us free. Ask simple questions that require the truth and remind them that Allah is watching their every move. As simple as clicking our heels three times... the answer has always been there... The truth.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dr. X

    .... he had just cleared security at the United terminal when authorities told everyone to stop where they were walking..... TSA SAYS FREEZE

    April 8, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. BOSFlyer

    Where are the "security at any price people" this morning? This security theater nonsense is getting out of hand. As a frequent traveler, I live this farce way too often. Kids, grandmothers, and everyday citizens harassed by low rent workfare workers on a power trip. Time and again they fail to spot real and simulated threats while shutting down terminals for non-issues.

    Anyone who lived or visited a Soviet Bloc country in the 80s should be familiar with the message and tactics used here. Citizens in East Germany and similar countries were kept under lock and key to "protect" them against the "imperialistic west." The weak minded are made to believe that everything is "for their safety." BS. All this is to fulfill a political agenda based on panic and irrational fear to expand government. Wonder why body scanners gained popularity so quickly? Could a former DHS head being a top executive at a company that makes these devices influence things? Nah......

    One of the most cherished freedoms in the USA is freedom of movement. These Stasi-type TSA thugs are already being placed outside train stations. What next? Checkpoints at highway off ramps? Visas to visit another state? Requiring ID to visit another city? Those willing to sacrifice the Bill of Rights do not deserve to live in this country.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Daily dose of Fear

    The kick in the head is all the TSA has to do call up Langley (CIA HQ) to find out where and when the next US plane attack (supposed attack) will happen. I read CNN, Fox, MSNBC, et al on a daily basis, not because I think I'm reading news – but because it is important to keep up on the latest propaganda. They don't mention the terminal, John, because it has now value to the purpose of the story – which is to keep you afraid of a false enemy. FEAR FEAR FEAR, and if not fear, then it's a divide and conquer piece. Same stuff.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joe

    How about... if a bag needs additional screening – you don't give it back to the owner until you have re-screened it? I know it is radical but, hey, it just might work!

    April 8, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. Yvette

    All of this chaos could be solved very easily. When a suspicious suitcase is identified, the TSA personnel should be equipped with a can of bright red spay paint. The suitcase should immediately be sprayed down with the red spray paint and if the person who brought the bad suitcase into the airport objects to this, he should be sprayed from his nose hairs to his bunions with the red spray paint...then if he attempts to walk away, there will be no problem identifying him in the crowd...just follow the man with the red spray painted body and suitcase. Very easy to implement and would eliminate the need to shut the whole operation down for one idiot passenger.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dereck

    The TSA, what a useless money hole. The whole agency should be dismantled and every employee fired. Seriously we spend Billions on an agency that does absolutely nothing to improve security, the only thing they're effective at is harassing innocents (occasionally killing them) and causing massive delays. Scrap the hole agency, put more armed marshals on flights/patrolling airports, and we'll save billions, increase security, and NOT be in violation the constitution.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  12. Langranch

    FYI. Item that was "suspicious" needed to be viewed ny at least 5 different ran-suited security supervisors to determine if was a threat. My guess is it wasn't something real obvious, and probably even a false alarm. My guess is Aldo that a supervisor second-guessed a checker, but not in time to stop them at checkpoint. I was happy to be stuck in line while they looked for this guy inside the terminal.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Steven Wiesner

    stop censoring me cnn, where is my freedom of speech.......if your going to censor someone, it should be comment 44. now, what i was trying to say......laughing@usa you are starting to sound like a terrorist. care to elaborate?

    April 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pericles

    I am so tired of listening to people complain about the TSA. These people are charged with keeping us safe while flying in the face of terrorists who are committed to killing us and a flying public who treat them like they are the enemy. I am also sick of hearing about stupid people who cannot, or simply will not follow the instructions of TSA officers. We need a law that simply says, if you do not follow the instructions of the TSA officers to the letter, then you will be charged and fined – period. Flying is not a right, it is a privilege. If you are not intelligent enough to understand and follow the rules, then you shouldn't fly and the same goes for those who think the rules don't apply to them. Flying today is like taking a bus. We need to bring back the elegance and luxury it once was.

    April 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. phillip Marlowe

    Last time I flew they were patting down a little boy maybe 5, then as he cried, they put him in this new air blower type screen that enclosed him, how about some common sense, I could only ascertain the screener doing all of this was a Red Sox fan as the little tyke had a Yankee shirt. I guess common sense doesn't prevail anymore, thank goodness that wasn't my kid as I would have freaked.

    August 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
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