Security ordeal for Qantas boss
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SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- The female head of Australia's major air carrier was suspected of being a terrorist at a U.S. airport because a security guard refused to believe a woman could run an airline.
Qantas Airways chairman Margaret Jackson has said she was detained and frisked at Los Angeles airport last year after a search revealed she was carrying aircraft diagrams in her briefcase.
Jackson gave details of the incident at a media conference in Beijing, China on Tuesday, in response to a question over the strictness of security at Australian airports.
She said her briefcase had contained detailed plans of a new aircraft, including cross-section diagrams showing seat layouts, Australian newspaper the Herald Sun newspaper reported Wednesday.
"The guy said 'Why have you got all of this?'," she said.
"And I said, 'I'm the chairman of an airline. I'm the chairman of Qantas'. And this black guy, who was, like, eight foot tall, said, 'But you're a woman'."
After proving her identity, Jackson produced paper with her letterhead on it and wrote a note to the guard, whose name was Bill.
"And I wrote, 'Dear Bill, this is from the chairman of Qantas, who is a woman'," the newspaper reported.
Jackson was in China to promote direct flights between Sydney, Australia and Beijing.
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