NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An airline employee led former Vice President Al Gore and two associates around airport security lines before police spotted the breach and required them to be screened, an airport spokeswoman said Thursday.
The American Airlines employee led the three down to the lower baggage level Wednesday and swiped each of them through a secure turnstile with her security badge, Nashville International Airport spokeswoman Lynne Lowrance said. She declined to identify the employee.
An airport officer assigned to escort Gore to his gate was to meet him at the security checkpoint, but Gore never came through, Lowrance said. The officer found Gore, his communications director Kalee Kreider and another staffer waiting at the gate for their flight.
The officer asked them if they went through security, and when they said they hadn't, they were taken back and fully screened. Gore did not complain and cooperated fully, Lowrance said.
"Everyone goes through security," she said of the employee's action. "It showed bad judgment. They were trying to be helpful, maybe too helpful."
The employee will be required to take an airport security training course again, Lowrance said.
The company does not discuss security issues, American Airlines spokesman John Hotard said.
Kreider said Gore's staff usually notifies airports where he will be flying to make sure they know the former vice president will be coming through.
"I was there, and we didn't know if standards had changed or what," she said. "There are different policies at different airports and you basically do what you're asked to do."
Gore was on his way to deliver his presentation on global warming at the University of Miami.