THE BLOG

Airport Security: The Unusual Suspects

03/20/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It happened again over the weekend. At JFK, a Haitian man and part time NYC resident, perhaps understandably disoriented leaving his earthquake-ravaged country a few hours earlier, walked into a restricted area at the airport after not seeing a sign barring access. You know what happened then: Terminal 8 went into lockdown, flights were delayed for over two hours, people who had already been screened by security had to be rescreened. I believe the operative word on the news is "chaos." The reason the errant gentleman claims he went out the wrong door? He thought it was the way to find a taxi.

Now go back two weeks, to Newark Airport. A man walked past a security checkpoint when the guard strolled away briefly, shutting down an entire terminal for six hours. The reason this guy went in the out-door, or out the in-door, or whatever? To exchange a few more hugs and kisses with his departing sweetheart.

(Some reports likened it to the final scene in Casablanca, when Humphrey Bogart bade farewell to Ingrid Bergman in the moments before she would fly out of his life forever. After all, Bogart's character, Rick, was flaunting Nazi security procedures to get Ilsa, Bergman's character, on board the plane. No doubt his actions would have resulted in numerous delays to flights leaving Casablanca later that night, and Rick surely would have faced trespassing charges at the minimum had he not shot the Nazi major who was arriving to address the security breach).

So one man shuts down an airport terminal looking for a cab, another does it looking for a kiss. We don't need more body scanners to protect the nation's airport security system. We need more people who can read signs. Here's looking at them, kids.