Sex Offender Gets Past TSA at Airport w/ Woman’s Boarding Pass

Boarding Pass
image: NBC News- KSL

NBC News reports that a male sex offender got past the TSA at Salt Lake City International Airport with a woman’s boarding pass on November 5.

Michael Reith Salata, a homeless man “was convicted of lewdness involving a child in Utah in 2012“. The 61-year-old man was arrested when he tried to board Southwest Flight 1760 which was flying from Salt Lake City to Oakland, California.

The rightful owner of the boarding pass and seat on the plane had lost her boarding pass soon after printing it out. She was able to check-in to the flight though with a replacement ticket on her phone.

According to NBC News, “Southwest halted boarding after receiving a notification that the ticket had been scanned twice… Salata was arrested on suspicion of fraudulent handling of a recordable writing, a third-degree felony“.

It seems like the TSA had a major screw up here and admitted it. I just can’t imagine how they could possibly let a man get through security with a woman’s boarding pass.

While the TSA admitted the error, they did mention how multiple layers of security are in place- “Both the ticketed passenger and the other individual were fully screened”. How comforting to know…

It’s always fun to hear how these mistakes happen. Kim, Lucas and I recently received the annoying SSSS on our boarding passes for extra screening. Because you know, my family of three might be a threat…. Maybe it’s time to rescreen the screeners.

Find out more from NBC News here.

8 thoughts on “Sex Offender Gets Past TSA at Airport w/ Woman’s Boarding Pass

  1. Odd. What happened to the person that takes a pen and checks off all the key information against a positive ID, and even uses a black light on same ID if appropriate? I guess they were on break. Because this creep did not have a matching ID, given the information conveyed above.

    It matters because you can have someone pretend they are someone else, in order to avoid no-fly lists, and for other nefarious reasons.

  2. Tom- While no weapons did get through, shouldn’t it be simple enough for the TSA to see that this man was not the rightful owner of the boarding pass? I’d consider that a screw-up!

    1. I agree but let’s play devil’s advocate here for a second.

      His ID should not have matched the boarding pass name and should have at least raised a red flag. But let’s say he said he was transgender going through a change. Would you let him through or detain him?

      I actually think someone did not check thoroughly but there are some cases that might “explain” him getting through – though it is a stretch at best.

  3. Did this person get a bomb or a gun through the TSA checkpoint? If not, it is hard to argue that TSA really screwed up. I know they are supposed to check ID, but that is really a much less essential part of their job description.

    1. I could say a lot about the TSA but let me just say they are human and are probably focused on their work shift and not much else (like many people in other occupations). I get that they should be more invested considering what they are supposed to be protecting us against, but at the end of the day they are just a deterrent and not the military or police. I would not rely on half of them being able to chase down and detain someone with criminal intent; in that way many of them are not much different than mall patrol.

      At the end of the day they are working for a paycheck like everyone else.

  4. I am actually glad to see that the screenings might actually be “random” as advertised and not profiling. While inconvenient for your family, if not done on families then the TSA is saying there is no way families could pose a danger (which is not true either).

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