ORLANDO, Fla. - “It’s outrageous. There’s no question about it. That’s why we’re all talking about it,” said U.S. Rep. Darren Soto.
He’s talking about the unaccompanied 15-year-old teenager with autism getting through Transportation Security Administration security without her own boarding pass. FOX 35 News broke the story last week. The Congressman has since addressed the TSA officials and is getting answers.
“She had a ticket when she got through but apparently also had a drink coupon on her at the time she was interviewed by police. It just was someone else’s ticket who dropped it in the airport terminal,” Rep. Soto explained.
The mixed-race teen used a boarding pass belonging to a middle-aged white woman without issue, the family claims. The congressman says only a minor could get away with something like this because passengers under 18 don't have to show identification going through security.
“After this incident in speaking with TSA officials, they are establishing new protocols for having several questions they’re going to ask unaccompanied youth with tickets,” Rep. Soto said.
He said questions will include their name, address, their travel destination and what airline they’re flying.
“That is at least a quick reaction to what happened, acknowledging that more questions should have been asked. A lot of times youth under pressure who are lying don’t exactly come up with the full story in a believable way. And there’s are folks who are trained to assess falsities,” Soto said.
As for preventing another minor from using someone else’s boarding pass to get through security.
“But then the longer-term policy of how many youths who are unaccompanied should we be identifying since not all of them have ID’s is a broader question for Congress,” Soto said. “We certainly applaud FOX 35 and others for bringing this issue to the light.”