Firstly, New York’s Kennedy Airport, which spends millions on security, was shocked when a man swam up from an adjoining bay, scaled a fence almost three metres high, walked 3km over two runways and strode dripping wet into the terminal, clad in a bright yellow jacket.
The airport’s sophisticated intrusion-detection system, which involves motion sensors and closed-circuit cameras, failed to stop the man, who turned out to be a jet-skier who had been drinking and had run out of fuel while racing with friends in the dark.
Daniel Castillo, 31, swam 5km to shore, scaled the fence, made his way to Terminal 3 and approached a Delta Airlines worker, who alerted authorities.
If nothing else, Castillo is very fit – but the airport’s security system is designed to prevent precisely that sort of waterborne approach, which could conceivably be used by terrorists. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is investigating and has increased patrols on the ground and in the water.
According to the police report, Casillo told an officer: “I needed help!” He has been charged with criminal trespass and will appear in court on 2 October.
Secondly, the missing girl. The parents of a 10-year-old girl accuse United Airlines of losing their daughter and being unconcerned about it.
The Huffington Post related how 10-year-old Phoebe, flying alone from San Francisco to Traverse City, Michigan via Chicago on her way to summer camp, got lost. Her parents allege that no United staff showed up to help Phoebe make her connection in Chicago. She missed the flight and the first her parents learned of it was when the summer camp called to say Phoebe hadn’t shown up.
It seems that a contractor who runs an unaccompanied minor service that escorts the children forgot to collect Phoebe. The girl (who was found safe at the airport) says she asked flight attendants for help but they told her they were busy and she needed to wait. When she asked to call her parents she was again told to wait.
Phoebe eventually flew on a later flight but it took three days for her bags to reach her. Her parents estimate they spent “around 18 hours collectively on the phones, on hold, trying to track down Phoebe, her bags and our peace of mind”.
United has apologised and is reviewing the matter – but that hasn’t saved it from an outpouring of rage on social media. “Parents, NEVER ever let your unescorted child travel on @United,” Tweeted @viviane212. “Wow, hey folks when you want to get rid of your children, just put them on on a@United Airlines flight! #waytogo #FAIL,” added Twitter user @madmelvina.
Written by : Peter Needham