LOS ANGELES – An airliner bound for New York was delayed nearly an hour Friday after the crew discovered some passengers had carried on drinks purchased at the airport, and the pilot requested the plane be rechecked by security screeners.
American Airlines Flight 40 was scheduled to leave Los Angeles for New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport at 11 a.m. and was being boarded when the drinks were discovered.
"The passengers were deplaned at the captain's request," said Nancy Castles, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles International Airport. "The liquids were surrendered or tossed or discarded. They conducted a security check of the plane, and the passengers were allowed to come back."
The flight carrying 150 passengers left at 11:57 a.m., said American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner.
Federal Transportation Safety Administration spokeswoman Jennifer Peppin said the passengers had already passed an airport security checkpoint and were waiting in a secured section of the American Airlines terminal when they purchased the drinks.
Still, she said, new security rules require that even drinks purchased in a secured area must be consumed or discarded before a person gets on a plane.
"We keep a lookout at the gate, but with a lot of people around and with carryon bags and stuff they made their way on board," Wagner said.