Entries in Laguardia Airport (6)


Henry Kissinger Gets a Pat-Down at New York Airport

amar Sibtain/India Today Group/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- What does one have to do to escape a TSA pat-down? No one is immune to a so-called secondary screening, not even a former secretary of state.

Henry Kissinger is the latest in what seems to be a never-ending series of high-profile pat-downs, The Washington Post reported. He was spotted on Friday at New York’s LaGuardia Airport getting “the full Monty,” according to a freelance reporter who claims to have witnessed the incident. Matthew Cole told the paper that the TSA agent did not recognize Kissinger, who served under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the war in Vietnam.

In fact, “none of the agents seemed to know who he was,” said Cole. Kissinger is said to have been in a wheelchair, apparently because of the long walk to the gate. The 88-year-old Kissinger was reportedly headed to Toronto.

Kissinger joins a long line of celebrities who have recently been subject to a security pat-down. From the Jersey Shore’s "JWoww" to the model Bar Refaeli to actress and singer Jennifer Hudson, it seems airport security is the great equalizer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dog Delays Flights at LaGuardia Airport

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A few flights were delayed Wednesday morning when Byrdie, a Rhodesian ridgeback, made a run for it on runway 3L at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

The approximately 30-pound canine got loose while being loaded onto a Delta flight bound for Memphis at 10:20 a.m.

Authorities quickly escorted the owner onto the runway and the dog came running to her when it was called.

The pup was only on the tarmac for about 10 minutes, and two or three flights were briefly delayed.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pilot Locked in Restroom Causes Mid-Air Terror Scare

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A pilot, a faulty lock on a bathroom door and a man with a thick foreign accent combined to turn a seemingly routine landing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport into anything but on Wednesday night.

The scare began when the pilot of Delta flight 6132, traveling from Asheville, N.C., to New York City, decided to take a bathroom break when the plane was put into a holding pattern over New York. A faulty door latch on the airplane’s lavatory, however, kept the pilot trapped inside, and sent his co-pilot on high alert.

“We are 180 knots, 10,000 [feet], uh, can we leave the frequency for a minute, we are going to try to, uh, contact dispatch,” the co-pilot radioed in to air traffic control as he circled the plane above LaGuardia.

Just seconds earlier, a male passenger with a thick foreign accent tried to gain access to the cockpit to tell the co-pilot the captain wasn’t going to make the landing.

The passenger, one of 14 on board, was following the pilot’s instructions, delivered through the bathroom door, to go to the cockpit to alert the crew to his situation.

“I’m not just surprised that the captain would give a passenger the code,” said John Nance, an aviation consultant. “I’m kind of astonished.”

The surprise attempt to enter the highly secured cockpit alarmed the co-pilot, who did not buy the passenger’s story and who, again, radioed air traffic control.

“The captain has disappeared in the back and, uh, I have someone with a thick foreign accent trying to access the cockpit right now…,” the co-pilot reported.

“What I’m being told is he’s stuck in the lav,” the co-pilot continued.  “Someone with a thick foreign accent is giving me a password to access the cockpit, and I’m not about to let him in.”

Not willing to take any chances themselves, air controllers on the ground ordered the plane, operated by regional carrier Chautauqua Airlines, to make an emergency landing.

Before the co-pilot was forced to make that emergency landing, however, the pilot was able to open the bathroom door, and calm his anxious colleagues.

“The captain, myself, went back to the lavatory and the door latch broke and I had to fight my way out of it with my body to get the door open,” he explained to air traffic control.

“There is no issue, no threat,” he said.

Frank Cilluffo of the Homeland Security Institute at George Washington University said that the first officer did the right thing.

“At the end of the day it was an unknown person and an unknown voice trying to access the cockpit,” he said. “You don’t open the door.”

Sources tell ABC News that fighter planes were alerted to the situation, but not called into service.

The FBI and Port Authority cops were on the ground to meet the plane when it finally landed, safely, around 6:30 p.m.

No one was charged in the incident.  A spokesman for Chautauqua Airlines told the New York Post that cops talked to the passenger and realized it was all a misunderstanding.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hurricane Irene: NYC Airports, Subways to Reopen Monday Morning

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York City's subways, the veins that keep the city that never sleeps alive 24 hours a day, will start reopening Monday morning after fears of Hurricane Irene led anxious officials to shut them down.

Along with the subways, the city's LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports were also scheduled to reopen at 6 a.m. Monday, officials said, though there were concerns about how many airport workers would be on the job without the subways running.

Irene was expected to wallop the city, which had led Mayor Mike Bloomberg to order 370,000 people to evacuate their homes and to close the subways and halt all buses 18 hours before the storm was expected to arrive.

As city officials breathed a sigh of relief Sunday that the storm did not bruise the Big Apple as badly as predicted, the mayor defended his decisions to err on the side of caution.

"The good news is the worst is over," he said.  "We dodged a bullet there."

In another bit of good news for the city, crime was much lower than usual Saturday night, with only 45 arrests, Bloomberg said.  On a typical Saturday night in August, there are 345 arrests, he said.

But the storm did not pass without making an impression on the city.  As the center of tropical storm Irene passed through, the East River breached its seawall and major highways around the nation's largest city shut down due to heavy rainfall and flooding.

Water flowed through the streets in lower Manhattan and work crews pumped out water from several flooded buildings.  One 31-story building on the corner of Fletcher and Front streets had 15 to 20 feet of water in its basement.  Engineers tried to pump out the water, fearing an explosion if they couldn't contain it.

Con Ed reported Sunday morning that 72,000 customers were without power in New York City, 25,000 of whom are in Queens.  And city officials estimated that there were more than 700 trees down, split, or uprooted throughout the five boroughs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


JetBlue Sued: Alleged Underwear Altercation Humiliates Malinda Knowles

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A financial consultant says she was kicked off her JetBlue flight after a supervisor demanded to know if she was wearing underwear, then allegedly stuck his walkie-talkie between her legs. Malinda Knowles, 27, is now suing JetBlue, the supervisor and the flight captain, seeking an unspecified amount for assault and battery, and emotional distress.

Knowles, 27, had boarded a JetBlue flight departing New York's LaGuardia Airport for West Palm Beach, Fla., where her family lives. She flies to Florida several times a year, she said.

That morning in July 2010, she left her home in Harlem at 4 a.m. to catch the 6 a.m. flight. She was wearing a pair of shorts, a large T-shirt (and yes, underwear), an outfit she says she selected, in part, because it was more than 90 degrees outside.

Everyone had boarded the plane, and Knowles was in her seat sipping orange juice when she said JetBlue supervisor Victor Rodriguez approached her, demanding to know "with a smirk" if she was wearing underwear.

"He just came up to me and asked me … basically to show him what I had on, which would have required me moving the tray table and pretty much opening my legs," she said. "I didn't feel comfortable doing that."

Knowles said she eventually lifted her tray table and then, Rodriguez -- who was holding a walkie-talkie -- allegedly "stuck the antennae in her crotch," between her legs, to see what she had on underneath her T-shirt, Knowles' attorney, Brian Dratch, told ABC News.

Knowles told ABC News she had never seen Rodriguez before, and had passed through all the security checkpoints at LaGuardia without any problem.

Rodriguez allegedly called Port Authority police and "had me escorted off of the flight in front of everyone," she said. They took her to the loading bridge, the passageway between the airport terminal and the plane, according to Knowles. The police soon observed, "Oh, she has shorts on," Knowles said.

Rodriguez, who is still working for JetBlue, declined to comment and referred ABC News to his lawyer, JetBlue attorney Michael Carbone, who also declined comment because of the pending litigation.

It's unclear, Dratch said, what Rodriguez's motive was, or even why he was on the plane. Dratch told ABC News that Rodriguez works at the ticket counter.

After she was questioned by Rodriguez in the loading bridge and showed the police her driver's license, she settled back into her seat. But Rodriguez allegedly returned another time, with the police.

"He said there was an issue with my shorts," Knowles said, explaining that at this point the plane had already been delayed at least half an hour. "Everyone [on the plane] was very upset, and very annoyed."

She said Rodriguez then told her "the captain doesn't want to fly you today and we need to remove you from the flight."

Next, police allegedly escorted her to the JetBlue ticket counter.

"Victor Rodriguez basically booked me on the next flight out," Knowles said. "He told me I wasn't complying with the rules. I asked him 'What rules?' and he refused to answer."

"While I was leaving the flight one of the passengers said I should definitely get a lawyer," Knowles said.

When her attorney first met with Knowles a few days after the incident occurred last July, he said he was "outraged."

"I couldn't believe that a supervisor -- and that's how he's classified in the report filed with the Port Authority Police department -- would confront Ms. Knowles regarding whether she was wearing underwear."

In the lawsuit Knowles is described as enduring "sustained shock, mental anguish and physical pain."

Dratch told ABC News he had not yet heard from JetBlue after serving the company with a copy of the complaint more than a week ago. JetBlue spokeswoman Alison Croyle declined to comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Despite FAA Rules, New York Airports Continue Congesting Air Traffic

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Regardless of what airport you're in in the U.S., if your flight is delayed, chances are high that it is due to air traffic congestion in the New York area.  A Department of Transportation report says the Federal Aviation Administration has to do a better job preventing those delays.

John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport continue to be main air traffic bottle necks for the entire country.  New rules imposed by the FAA two years ago to limit the number of flights at all three New York area airports have done little to reduce delays, according to the report.  The ripple effect has an impact on airports elsewhere.

The report says the FAA needs to re-examine its rules to make them more realistic to air traffic conditions.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio