A couple days ago a flight leaving Lambert Airport in St. Louis was called back.
Trouble began when flight 7445 was boarding in St. Louis. At the time, computers at the gate were not working, Oxley said. So airline staff used normal manual back-up procedures to run passengers through a last security check, he said. Oxley declined to say what those procedures were.
The plane -- a mostly-full Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jet -- left St. Louis shortly before 8 a.m.
Then the computers kicked back on. And the name of one passenger was found to be similar to a name on TSA's terrorist screening watch list -- which recently had been expanded with thousands of new names. "Which is what sent the alarm bells off," Oxley said.
Airline officials decided to order the plane to return to St. Louis. A TSA spokesperson said the federal agency was notified about the incident but was not involved in the decision to recall the flight.
Once the flight was back at Lambert, airline officials were able to determine the passenger was not on the watch list. He was cleared to fly.
What is the purpose of the "normal backup method" if it can't be relied upon? How similar does a name have to be before it is or isn't considered to be "the name" on the terrorist screening watch list? Who are "airline officials"?
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