This hasn't been the best springtime for the TSA (though, looking back on it, do they ever have a good one?); last week, the agency fired and suspended a number of agents at Newark Airport for lax screening practices, and this week they've been criticized for accidentally allowing a Delta worker to board a flight at JFK without a boarding pass or security screening.
To be fair, it sounds like this specific incident is less the TSA's fault and more a complete security breach on the part of the Delta employee: officials say Marcelino Aponte, 31, a JFK ramp worker, tried to get on a flight to Orlando Wednesday night without the proper identification, so TSA agents turned him away at security. Instead, Aponte, who was reportedly carrying a small bag with him, allegedly used his Secure Identification Display Area (SIDA) badge and identification number to sneak into the airport's secure areas, somehow eventually getting on board the plane.
The TSA tells us agents contacted Port Authority officers as soon as they became aware of the breach—they say it took them nine minutes to respond, though police say they weren't notified for about 45 minutes—and cops were waiting for Aponte when he landed in Florida. "It appears this airline employee abused his airport privileges by using his SIDA badge to circumvent the checkpoint and board a personal flight," the TSA told us. "He was arrested upon arrival in Orlando." A Delta spokesperson told us Aponte has been suspended pending the investigation, and there's no word yet on whether Aponte was carrying more than 3 oz. of conditioner onboard.