At a time when the world is on heightened alert because of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, workers at John F. Kennedy International Airport made a huge mistake.
Over the weekend, American Airlines flight 1671 from Cancún, Mexico, landed at the New York City airport Friday night and began disembarking its passengers. Some of them were erroneously led to the domestic departures area without having to go through immigration and customs.
On Monday, the New York Daily News reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection had mistakenly allowed 150 passengers to bypass the normal security and entry procedures.
Agency spokesman Michael Friel later told the Daily News that only “13 of the 76 passengers [aboard] inadvertently exited through a domestic gate.”
In the days since the plane landed, Friel added, 10 of those passengers have been subsequently processed, and the three remaining people are all U.S. citizens.
“That is a very unusual incident,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was quoted as saying by the Daily News, “but it is absolutely unacceptable.”
A source told ABC News that the faux pas was caused by “airline employee error” as the passengers emerged from the jetway.
American Airlines issued a statement about the incident that said, "Some passengers on flight 1671 did not complete the immigration and customs process upon arrival when they were inadvertently directed to the domestic terminal."
The company’s release went on to say, "We are reviewing the matter with CBP to ensure three U.S. citizens complete the process and to prevent this from happening in the future."