From the Sun-Sentinel-
Government bureaucracy and Airline customer service. Rarely a good mix. People should use their common sense, but that's is usually asking for too much.
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.
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.
"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.
The young boy, who stands 3 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 55 pounds, was then issued a boarding pass, she said. In the past, she said she also has had trouble booking on at least one other airline.
The TSA says the AirTran incident shouldn't have happened because airlines are responsible for "automatically" removing children from no-fly lists. Indeed, on its Web site, tsa.gov, the agency proclaims that placing children on such lists is a "myth."
Judy Graham-Weaver, AirTran spokeswoman, said the only way an airline can clear a child is by seeing the child first. She further contended that only the TSA can remove or add names.
My suggestion to Michael's parents- Legally change his name. Yes that's drastic, and I don't know how much it will cost but if the Martins travel a lot it will probably be worth their getting rid of their current hassles with TSA.
If not, Mrs. Martin shouldn't let her son carry those drumsticks on airplane. Someone may mistake them for a deadly weapon. We wouldn't want that.
Linked to-Bullwinkle, Third World County, Webloggin, The World According to Carl,