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System Operations Control Center manager statement

Text of American Airlines System Operations Control Center Manager's Statement. Parentheses added:

I was working as Center Manager on Christmas and received a call from Captain (employee number) flying flight 363 from BWI/DFW (Baltimore/Washington International Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport).

The Captain had a concern about a passenger onboard his flight. The Captain first requested a fax containing all wanted terrorist photos that American had available. I explained that this was not possible and asked exactly what problem he was encountering.

He said that he received paperwork for a passenger that stated he was a Secret Service Agent and would be traveling armed. The Captain said that the paperwork contained scratched out flight numbers and may have been altered. I then suggested that the Captain request new paperwork.

The Captain called back again and stated the he was still questioning the validity of this passenger working for the Secret Service because the secret service agent had failed to fill the paperwork out properly again. I asked if he had looked at the agent credentials. He said you work for the airline, you know how easy it would be to get fake I.D. I suggested that I could call the Secret Service and verify that this passenger was in fact an agent.

I asked the Captain to request the agent's superiors [sic] name and number. The Captain said that we should not use his information because he could have a friend answering the phone when we called. I then suggested get the local police to verify the I.D. since, being located at BWI, they would have exposure to Secret Service I.D.'s and contact phone numbers.

The next phone call I received was from the AA (American Airlines) ticket agent at BWI. He said that the Secret Service agent had verbally abused the Captain and that the Captain was denying him boarding. I asked to speak to the police officer that was witness to this, who then verified what the ticket agent had stated. Based on this, I then decided to end boarding to this passenger on future AA flights.

Later, I received a call from the AA ticket agent at BWI and was asked to talk to this Secret Service Agent. I then heard the Secret Service Agent's side of the story. He admitted to not properly filling out the paperwork for carrying a weapon; not once, but twice. He also admitted to losing his temper with the Captain because he was asked for his ID five separate times.

When he asked why he was denied future boarding, I explained that I could not expose AA crews or passengers to abuse. He said he was being discriminated against, wanted my bosses [sic] name, and threatened that he would have my job. He was going to take this to the highest authority. I asked for his superior's name and contacted him.

I explained the situation to the superior. He confirmed that this man did work for the Secret Service, and would contact him.

A short time later the agent's superior called back and said that he was sorry for losing his temper and would like to travel out of DCA (Ronald Reagan National Airport) the next day. He then stated that the agent was of Middle Eastern descent.

I explained to the superior that I did not know this and that there was no discrimination in the denied boarding process with SOC. I was 1,000 miles away from the situation and handled it as we would for any unruly passenger. We agreed the agent could travel the next day.




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