$100 Bribe Gets Mysterious Package On JetBlue Plane

Here’s a deal you won’t see JetBlue advertising on its website. All you need to get a mysterious package unaccompanied onto a JetBlue flight is a $100 bill in the hands of a JetBlue ticket agent.

Back in November, TSA agents were doing a test at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. They wanted to see if they could bribe a ticket agent into accepting an unaccompanied package onto a JetBlue flight to Boston. The answer: Yes, they could.

From SeattlePI:

An undercover TSA agent told a JetBlue ticket agent that he needed to get a package to Boston that day and would pay the agent $100.00 for helping. The agent took the $100, put it in his pocket and proceeded to follow the unknown person’s instructions. The ticket agent chose a passenger’s name at random, which just happened to be an unaccompanied minor, and the package went through the screening process with no problems. Although the package was harmless, the TSA pulled the package just before being loaded onto the aircraft.

Speaking to the media, TSA tried to downplay the fright factor of this news: “TSA can assure travelers that, like checked baggage, every package tendered at the airline counter is screened for explosives.”

JetBlue says it is cooperating with the investigation and that “the involved crew member is no longer employed at JetBlue.”

$100 Bribe to Ticket Agent Allows Unknown Package to Fly on JetBlue [SeattlePI.com]

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  1. danmac says:

    *cut to a terrorist reading this article from his bunker, nodding and scribbling on a small notepad furiously*

    Thanks, TSA!

    • Tyanna says:

      I’m willing to bet that terrorists already knew this.

      • A.Mercer says:

        I think we all already knew that the weakest link in this security chain were the employees themselves. This is just a confirmation.

    • nbs2 says:

      Should this have been the part where TSA claimed SSI and that disclosing information would help the terrists? Oh wait, TSA wasn’t the problem this time. My mistake.

  2. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Step 1: Take the money
    Step 2: Take camera phone pict of them and threaten to tip off the TSA.
    Step 3: ??????
    Step 4: Profit.

    What are they going to do, call the cops because they tried to bribe you and you kept the money?

    • nikfish says:

      Leave you with the package perhaps. Report you for suspicious behavior (or just detonate it early).

    • Conformist138 says:

      “I have a 100-dollar bill in my pocket and a photo of you on my phone… You are gonna be in so much trouble!”

      I see your point, but considering that “evidence” is meaningless, it’s just kinda funny. I expect more from you, SteveDave

    • sonneillon says:

      Then your guilty of taking a bribe and blackmail. Two felony charges for the price of one. While your at it might as well blackmail for sexual favors and get all three strikes out of the way.

      • sonneillon says:

        Because in this case it was the cops offering the bribe.

        • allknowingtomato says:

          You mean the TSA and not “the cops”. In any event, I doubt they would have nailed the Jet blue employee for the bribe, as entrapment becomes an issue. it was done for research purposes, I didn’t see anything in TFA about pressing charges. Would have been more interesting to see what would have happened if the Jet Blue employee had acted according to $steveDave’s underpants gnome-inspired suggestion.
          Jet Blue probably still would have fired the employee, methinks.

          • Papa Bear says:

            This was not entrapment. Entrapment is when a person is enticed to do something illegal that they would not otherwise do. For the TSA to push this to the point of entrapment would defeat the entire exercise which was to see how easy this would be to do.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Can a private citizen take a “bribe”?

        • allknowingtomato says:

          At common law, only if they had a public or legal duty (Black’s Law Dictionary) . So your definition of “private citizen” would need to be resolved with the requirement of a duty. I might argue that a ticketing agent had a legal duty not to accept bribes stemming from some security work authorization training due to post 9/11 regs that I have not bothered to look up.

          • Papa Bear says:

            Black’s is a very poor resource for determining the law. It only gives definitions of specific terms. However, yes a private person can take a bribe. It happens all of the time. Bankers take bribes for preferential loan treatment, doctor’s take kick-backs from pharmaceutical companies, etc, etc. The term “payola” came from disc jockeys taking bribes to give more playtime to certain groups or songs. Private bribes are not always considered criminal, but they can be a cause of action for a civil suit.

          • darcmosch says:

            Or did he need to take the package up so that way they could then call the FBI/CIA/NSA/Cavalry and keep the box from coming in from some other way? I see the $100 as thank you for stopping a terrorist plot.

          • darcmosch says:

            Or did he need to take the package up so that way they could then call the FBI/CIA/NSA/Cavalry and keep the box from coming in from some other way? I see the $100 as thank you for stopping a terrorist plot. I mean if a guy tells me that, I will accept it and then call security as soon as his back is to me.

  3. jason in boston says:

    Pretty sure that if a plane gets brought down again, it will be someone on the inside that can just bypass all security. Extra irony if said plan gets help from a tsa person that was hired off a pizza box.

    • AngryK9 says:

      Imagine the number of airline pilots out there flying around the world right now who are members of sleeper cells…

    • Liam Kinkaid says:

      I wonder if the gas pump hirees are higher or lower on the totem pole than the pizza box hirees. Of course, the existence of such a pecking order in the TSA would imply that they’re organized.

      • YokoOhNo says:

        oregon gas pump jockeys are higher on the totem…new jersye gas pump jockeys are lower. they’re really two different classes and don’t like to be compared to each other.

  4. axhandler1 says:

    JetBlue says it is cooperating with the investigation and that “the involved crew member is no longer employed at JetBlue.”

    After he accepted the $100 bribe, the TSA agents realized he’d be a perfect fit within their own organization and offered him a better job than the one he had with JetBlue.

  5. SidusNare says:

    If you dont pay your people that protect you well enough, they will become someone else’s people.
    It doesn’t matter if they are Police, Armed forces, or ticket reps.

    We need to pay the people we have chosen to protect us better.

    • skwigger says:

      That’s a bullshit argument. Do you know what someone in this position makes? What is a perfectly acceptable amount to some, is too low for others. There will always be people willing to better themselves at the cost to others.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        Yes, actually. They make a low-5-figures, if they’re full-time, and a *VERY* low-5-figures if they’re part-time. They make less than 1/10th the compensation of the people several levels above them, and typically less than 1/100th the compensation of the three-letter-management.

        If they didn’t receive discounts for travel, they would frequently be incapable of purchasing tickets on their own airlines.

      • Rhinoguy says:

        They make around fourteen dollars an hour, depending on where they are in the US. Not minimum wage, but not get rich quick either. That works out to twenty-eight thousand a year if they are full time, plus FEDERAL bennies.

    • evnmorlo says:

      It’s true that moderate salaries will reduce bribery, but highly paid people will still accept bribes if they can get away with it. Even doctors who make $200k will be influenced by a pharmaceutical rep buying them lunch.

    • Bsamm09 says:

      So morals vary with rate of pay? Better pay your babysitters enough or they will kidnap your baby!

      • Ichabod says:

        Nice hyperbole. More likely pay your minimum wage security people better, who in their right mind will risk their lives for peanuts?

    • SidusNare says:

      I am not talking about greedy people, I am talking about people struggling to make ends meet.

      If you can rationalize the transgression (business package, going through security anyway), its not easy to pass up the money.

  6. YokoOhNo says:

    but, but, I saw the x-ray scanners and i took off my shoes and i got a handjob and i threw away my half-full bottle of water…are they saying there are other ways to blow up a plane besides with shoes or 4 ounces of liquid!??!?!?!

    this is really no big deal when you know that it’s simple for a person, strapped to the hilt with explosives, to simply stow away in a wheel well and blow up the plane from there.

  7. stevied says:

    “the involved crew member is no longer employed at JetBlue.”

    Damn right!

    And what about the supervisor that failed to properly supervise the employee?

  8. skylar.sutton says:

    Great, now the ticket counter agents are going to have their testicles fondled by the TSA every time you check a bag.

  9. AllanG54 says:

    Geez, I hope that ticket agent grabbed a couple of beers as he was led out of the airport.

  10. RDSwords says:

    Wonderful, now airport staff will have one more reason not to act like a human and help you out when you are in a bind.

  11. CrankyOwl says:

    But wait…JetBlue doesn’t say they’re “taking this seriously”!

  12. Mark says:

    They involved an innocent minor.

    They should not be involving any traveler in their tests that way.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      Which “They” are you talking about? The undercover operative simply wanted to see if $100 would get an unknown package onto a plane. It was the bribed ticket agent who chose (albeit randomly) the unaccompanied minor as a name to check-in the package.

      What I want to know is this: Was the minor charged for the extra piece of checked luggage?

  13. 6T9 says:

    Hey, thanks for publishing this.

  14. nbaptist says:

    “All you need to get a mysterious package unaccompanied onto a JetBlue flight is a $100 bill in the hands of a JetBlue ticket agent.”

    LUCY YOU GOT SOME SPLAIN TO DO!

    So let me figure this out TSA had a mysterious package that they smuggled thru security because they are security! TSA claims it could have been a bomb, notice TSA left out they were not doing their job letting a potentinaly dangerous package past their screaners!

    Can some one just put a package in the cargo section, oh wait all that gets scanned too!

    I am confused!

    • arcticJKL says:

      Nothing was smuggled through security, the ticket agent took an unknown package and tried to put it on a plane. It was checked like all the other bags the passenger had.

  15. What’s your problem, Kazanski? says:

    Hope the $100 offsets the job loss…

    • nbaptist says:

      I think the TSA agent should also get canned for asking the agent!

      Why you ask “What if some one had replaced their dummy package with one contaning real explosives. After all if the TSA could get a dummy package thru to the gate a nut job could have just as well switched them!

  16. evilpete says:

    Why do I always hear about these deals after the fact…..

  17. Bodger says:

    $100 sounds way to high. You could probably get it done for $20 slipped to an airplane cleaner or baggage handler or mechanic or caterer or (probably) any number of other ‘trusted’ people who never undergo screening and who have free access to aircraft any time they want.

  18. El-Brucio says:

    Pshaw. The mob has known for years that it is always cheaper to bribe the baggage handlers instead.

  19. AnthonyC says:

    I’m waiting for a case where the airline rep. calls security, and the undercover TSA agent tries to prove he’s not trying to blow anything up.

  20. Cetan says:

    He got to keep the $100, RIGHT?!

    (I would nod my head to the guy, pocket the money, set the box aside and call TSA on his ass.)

  21. APriusAndAGrill says:

    YAY this happened in my city