March 8th, 2013
09:33 PM ET

Delta CEO criticizes new knife rule

Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson said Friday he objects to the federal Transportation Security Administration's move this week to allow small pocketknives on airplanes.

"These items have been banned for more than 11 years and will add little value to the customer security process flow in relation to the additional risk for our cabin staff and customers," Anderson said in a letter to the head of the TSA.

March 5th, 2013
03:27 PM ET

TSA to allow small knives on flights

Beginning April 25, the Transportation Security Administration will allow knives with blades that are 2.36 inches (6 centimeters) or shorter and less than 1/2 inch in width on U.S. airline flights. Two golf clubs, toy bats or other sports sticks will also be allowed in carry-on luggage.

July 13th, 2012
11:35 AM ET

3 Americans die in private-jet crash in France

Three Americans died when a private jet crashed at a small airport in the south of France, a local official said Friday.

Two men, aged 24 and 51, and a 30-year-old woman were on board the plane when it crashed at Castellet airport, said Didier Couve, spokesman for the Prefecture of the Var department.

The three were the only people on the plane, Couve said.

A spokeswoman for the airport said emergency services are on site.

June 28th, 2012
12:04 AM ET

TSA screener spilled grandfather's ashes, then laughed about it, Indiana man says

An Indiana man is demanding a direct apology from a Transportation Security Administration agent in Florida who, the man says, spilled his grandfather's ashes during an airport bag check - and then laughed off the incident.

And John Gross is also demanding that the TSA release any security surveillance tapes of the incident - tapes that the federal agency claims simply don't exist.

Gross, 30, was returning home from visiting family in Orlando, Florida, on June 19, carrying with him a portion of his grandfather's ashes that had been passed along by an uncle - a "real sentimental kind of guy," says Gross - when he approached TSA screeners. A female agent wearing blue latex gloves inspected the contents of his bag, says Gross, including the jar clearly labeled "Human Remains."

"I said, 'Please be careful, these are my grandpa's ashes,'" Gross told CNN Wednesday. But, he said, the agent proceeded to stick her finger in the jar then accidentally spilled its contents on the airport floor.

She then laughed, according to Gross - not an uproarious cackle, but a chuckle that he found offensive nonetheless.

"She thought it was funny," he said. "I wanted to smack her."

June 7th, 2012
07:48 AM ET

Thursday's live events

The race to the presidency now turns toward the general election in November. Live is your home for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - TSA customer service hearing –Some critics say the TSA's customer service record leaves much to be desired.  TSA chief John Pistole testifies on how the agency is working to fix that.


May 25th, 2012
11:30 AM ET

American Airlines passenger held in Miami

An American Airlines passenger was restrained Friday after his flight landed in Miami, a spokeswoman for the Miami International Airport said.

Authorities were called to the scene of American Airlines Flight 320, which had departed from Montego Bay, Jamaica, spokeswoman Maria Levrant said.

CNN affiliate WSVN reported that the passenger tried to rush the cockpit, and was restrained by two other passengers before authorities arrived at the scene.

Read the full story here.

April 18th, 2012
05:36 PM ET

Overheard on Readers cheer efforts of naked TSA protester

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

We last spoke of jets carrying shuttles and planes dodging Venus, and we're venturing skyward again (after the security check) with this story of a man who stripped naked at Portland International Airport in Oregon to protest TSA searches. Many of our readers have hailed him as some sort of unclothed hero, while others aren't sure about the value of being naked in public.

Police: Man strips naked at Oregon airport in TSA protest

CNN has already spoken with John Brennan, the naked flier, and we found him apparently commenting on the story about the incident. One of the posts gave this advice:

John Brennan: "Always smile for your mug shot. I look so grim, but I'd never been to jail before."

From our other readers, this was the most-liked comment:

Anex: "While it sucks for the people who had to wait because of him, or the children's/passerby's poor eyes, I respect what he did. His protest was non-violent and just shows the general sentiment of airport security."

USA401: "Yes but it is also illegal to be naked in public and refusing to cooperate. Lets face it, those are two things we want to keep as laws."

Many of our readers said people need to calm down and realize that airport security is a necessity.

collagekid: "Get off your high horse and deal with it. If you dont want to fly because the TSA may feel you are hiding something or have cause to search you then don't fly. Its your right not to; however, when you purchase a ticket I feel you give up your right to some of those privacies and liberties. I have no problem with TSA doing whatever and whenever to ensure that they can prevent someone from inflicting harm on an airplane or worse. The truth is, when they search children or people in wheelchairs, they do it because there are people out there who are disturbed enough to strap a bomb to a child!"

A few readers with knowledge about Portland's local laws had a different take. FULL POST

March 22nd, 2012
05:46 PM ET

Overheard on Not-so-fabulous flights send some readers' tempers soaring

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

United Airlines Flight 857 wasn't exactly the best flight ever. The toilets broke, so the flight stopped in Anchorage, Alaska, and things only got more interesting from there. The 13-hour flight from San Francisco to Shanghai was three days late. Readers commented on this story and griped about modern air travel.

Broken toilets strand United passengers in Alaska

There were a few readers who dread flying.

AngelaD: "Once a year, I fly overseas with my children ... and this is one of the scenarios I dread and fear. And although I understand that some of these things can happen, it is the endless waiting in the plane and the airport just for an answer that can drive one crazy. My tickets cost thousands of dollars (in economy, of course) and I wonder what they all do with my money. I feel for the people of that flight."

But some said readers should stop complaining.

SherwoodOR: "They could have just flown on and finished the trip with the toilets backing up into the aisles. In some parts of the world on some airlines, that would have been the choice. Would you prefer that?"

Take the train instead. FULL POST

March 19th, 2012
09:40 PM ET

CNN prime time: 3-year-old pat-down, outrage escalates in Florida teen's killing


Suspect in Afghan killings had prior arrest

CNN’s Dan Simon looks at what may have been a darker side of the man accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians.


Protesters demand arrest in teen's killing

Outrage ramps up in a racially-charged case in Florida. A neighborhood watch volunteer remains free after telling police he shot and killed an unarmed teenager in an act he claims was self-defense.


Father: TSA agent's actions 'intrusive'

A viral video showing TSA agents patting down a 3-year-old boy in a wheelchair in 2010 was posted on YouTube on Sunday by his father.

November 16th, 2011
07:46 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

Watch Live for continuing coverage on the battle over what to do about the national debt.

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - TSA anniversary briefing - It's the 10th anniversary of the Transportation Security Administration, but not everyone is going out to buy it a card.  The U.S. Travel Association will release findings from its survey on TSA attitudes and opinions.


On the Radar: TSA criticized, Bachmann to announce, Obama to talk decifit
The TSA denies its agents forced an elderly woman to remove her adult diaper during a security check.
June 27th, 2011
07:23 AM ET

On the Radar: TSA criticized, Bachmann to announce, Obama to talk decifit

Florida TSA incident - The Transportation Security Administration is standing behind its agents in Destin, Florida. Agents forced a cancer-stricken 95-year-old woman to take off her adult diaper after they patted her down at an airport security checkpoint, the woman's daughter, Jean Weber, told CNN. The TSA denies that the screeners required the elderly woman to remove a diaper and that they followed proper procedures. The incident follows the videotaped pat-down of a 6-year-old girl, a move which outraged some lawmakers and the public.

Deficit talks - President Obama will get directly involved in the stalled talks to raise the national debt limit by meeting with Senate leaders from both parties. Congress faces an August 2 deadline to reach a compromise on increasing the debt ceiling.

Bachmann's in for 2012 - Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann will officially enter the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. She's expected to make the announcement Monday in Waterloo, Iowa, where she was born.

Ohio serial killings trial - Opening statements are expected in the trial of Anthony Sowell, who is accused of raping, murdering and dismembering 11 women in the Cleveland area between 2007 and 2009. Sowell has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Listen to the families of the victims.

Post by:
Filed under: Air travel • Barack Obama • Courts • Crime • Elections • Florida • Justice • On the Radar • Politics • Transportation Security Administration • Travel
Gotta Watch: Airline antics
A man boards an airplane wearing women’s underwear and a small sweater.
June 23rd, 2011
10:54 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Airline antics

Airline travel isn't what it used to be. Besides pat-downs, ash clouds and pilot rants, you now may have to face passengers in revealing bikinis. Or maybe you'll find a superstar rapper onboard who feel the need to steal the mic. And there's always those interesting safety videos. You've gotta watch these airline antics.

Gotta Watch: Awkward TSA pat-down moments
A woman avoids a pat-down by wearing her bikini through security at an airport.
April 13th, 2011
11:51 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Awkward TSA pat-down moments

We thought we'd bring you some of our most memorable awkward airport pat-down moments after hearing all the buzz from this video. Here, a 6-year-old is filmed by her parents as she gets the full TSA pat-down treatment at an airport in New Orleans.

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Cleveland airport terminal, planes evacuated after screening glitch
All four concourses of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport had to be evacuated and searched Friday.
April 8th, 2011
01:47 PM ET

Cleveland airport terminal, planes evacuated after screening glitch

A malfunctioning carry-on baggage X-ray machine forced security officials to take passengers off planes and evacuate the terminal during the Friday morning rush at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Ohio, the Transportation Security Administration confirmed.

TSA officers could not determine who had been properly screened and who had not, so all passengers and carry-ons were removed from planes and the terminal for re-screening, airport spokeswoman Jackie Mayo told CNN affiliate WOIO.

“Literally a dump of the terminal,” she told CNN affiliate WEWS.

Officers and a bomb-sniffing dog checked all four concourses of the terminal while passengers waited outside in the rain, WEWS reported. The terminal reopened less than 45 minutes after the problem was discovered, Mayo said.

The action was taken "out of an abundance of caution," a TSA statement said.

“That 4:30 to 6, 7 o’clock in the morning is a really busy time,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of people in here who are taking those early-morning flights, those weekend warriors who are going home. So it was a little bit of an inconvenience, but as a precautionary measure it’s what we do, and what airports across the country do. It’s all about security, which is our highest priority.”

The schedule had returned to normal by late morning.

Post by:
Filed under: Air travel • Ohio • Security • Transportation Security Administration • Travel • U.S.
On the Radar: Wreckage found, jet cracks, radioactive water, Obama, basketball
Authorities found pieces of the Air France jet in 2009 but now say they have found the main wreckage.
April 4th, 2011
11:24 AM ET

On the Radar: Wreckage found, jet cracks, radioactive water, Obama, basketball

Air France wreckage found - Bodies have been found from an Air France flight that went down in the Atlantic Ocean almost two years ago. They will be brought to the surface and identified. A French official said Monday that the main part of the wreckage had been found. Previously, only chunks of the plane had been recovered. It went down in a remote part of the ocean, an estimated two to four day’s travel by ship from the nearest Brazilian or Senegalese port.

Cracks in jets - Southwest Airlines canceled about 600 flights over the weekend to accommodate inspections after a hole opened in a plane on a Sacramento, California-bound flight. The Texas-based airline grounded 79 planes and expects to cancel about 100 flights Monday. Investigators have reportedly found cracks in three other aircraft. Southwest is advising passengers to check their flight status before going to the airport, and Boeing is sending out a service bulletin telling how to inspect planes for similar cracks.


TSA: Air travelers to see more insulated beverage security measures
December 23rd, 2010
09:54 PM ET

TSA: Air travelers to see more insulated beverage security measures

CNN confirms from the TSA that air travelers may observe additional security measures related to insulated beverage containers. The TSA is carefully monitoring information related to terrorist tactics and working with their international partners to share information and security best practices.

Overheard on Sex-crime victims' take on TSA
December 21st, 2010
08:05 PM ET

Overheard on Sex-crime victims' take on TSA

COMMENT OF THE DAY: "I guess I personally don't care if someone sees me in a body scan or even pats me down. I'm more upset that we are forced to do it." –cjb21980
Editor's note: This post was written by Kristine Griggs, a member of our comments staff.
Sex-crime victims who opt for pat downs instead of full-body scans at airports face more than inconvenience and blushed cheeks. They might have disabling traumatic flashbacks that can last for days or weeks. And while survivors of sex crimes generally understand the need for safety regulations, many CNN readers think all fliers' rights are being violated by the new regulations and that they simply don't work. Still others are sympathetic both to the victims of sex crimes and the Transportation Security Administration agents who have to perform their duties.

Check out what readers are saying about this and other stories on

DHS: Passengers now screened before boarding passes
November 30th, 2010
02:22 PM ET

DHS: Passengers now screened before boarding passes

All passengers flying within or to the United States are now being screened against government watch lists before they get their boarding passes, the Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday.

The Transportation Security Administration achieved the target a month ahead of schedule, DHS said in a statement.

Screening all passengers was a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, the department said.'


November 24th, 2010
12:11 PM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Amr Khaled

He despises radical Islam as much as anybody, and he has the power to do something about it.

Khaled landed in Sana’a, Yemen, on Tuesday to kick off his training course on moderation for preachers and other leaders. The project will target 70 preachers from across the country.

“The projects will focus on spreading Islamic thought and moderation as well as fighting extremism and violence,” Yemen’s state-run news agency, Saba, reported. “One of them, Balda Tayeba, targets Yemeni young leaders to train them to spread moderation thoughts and projects directing the youth to do good and reform and root out extremism through charitable projects.”

The news agency further reported President Ali Abdullah Saleh met with Khaled and praised the initiative.

Middle East Online said Khaled and the selected preachers will confront extremism and al Qaeda-like ideologies via television interviews, meetings with army leaders and "interviews with some penitent extremists."

Khaled heads Right Start Foundation International, a group whose aims include empowering women, anti-drug and -smoking campaigns and building bridges with non-Muslims.

“[Osama] bin Laden is saying he is talking on behalf of Muslims,” he was once quoted as saying. “Who asked him to talk on behalf of us? Nobody.”

He has spoken extensively on how Muslims can tap their faith and activism to integrate into Western societies, yet he still holds some traditional Muslim views (women should wear headscarves, for example).

Time magazine in 2007 compared the 43-year-old Egyptian layman to Dr. Phil and Rick Warren and said he was among 100 people whose power, talent or moral examples were transforming the world.


November 23rd, 2010
02:17 PM ET

If not body scans, what other technology?

A passenger at Schiphol airport in December 2009 going through a full-body scanner.

At the heart of the uproar over full-body scans is that people are creeped out by the idea that a stranger would see a picture of them naked, much less that those images would be recorded and stored somewhere.

A noted nuclear scientist affiliated with the prestigious Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California says that a relatively inexpensive and simple tweak could be made to body scanners that would assuage passengers' anxiety.

The technology - a tool that could be added without much fuss to 385 body scanners in 68 U.S. airports - would automatically distort the body's image so that something almost cartoon-like would be produced, said Bill Wattenburg, a former member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and a University of California Berkeley electrical engineering professor. He has designed anti-terror devices that the U.S. military uses - imaging that can see around walls, for example.

Wattenburg said he spoke with U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials in 2006 about the tool but the talks went nowhere. "We tried, we really did, anticipating that this kind of embarrassment people are feeling would eventually be heard. But no one listened," he said.


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