Newark Airport Terminal Evacuated Over Unchecked Baby

The week of little children posing a threat to the travelers of the world concludes with this story about how officials evacuated and temporarily shut down an entire terminal at Newark International Airport because a baby didn’t receive a second screening.

The NY Daily News reports that mom and child had set off an alert when they passed through a metal detector at the Terminal C checkpoint together. Mom handed baby off to dad, who had already been cleared, and then went through again on her own.

It wasn’t until after the family had moved on toward their gate that TSA screeners realized, oops, they had not re-checked the wee one.

“Per protocol, TSA notified Port Authority Police of the situation and pointed out that this was a low-risk situation and indicated that TSA officers were looking for the family in the terminal,” the TSA said in a statement to the Daily News, which reports that it was the Port Authority’s decision to close the terminal and not the TSA’s.

Alas, the family was never found, and the Port Authority reopened the terminal, figuring that the flight was already up in the air.

The TSA has been feeling the heat following incidents of possibly overzealous screening involving a hug-happy 4-year-old and a 7-year-old with cerebral palsy. Not to mention those screeners at LAX who were busted on charges of taking bribes to let drug smugglers sneak their wares through security.

Newark Airport terminal shut after baby goes through checkpoint unscreened [NY Daily News]


Edit Your Comment

  1. az123 says:

    Really this story actually makes some sense for the TSA to actually want to go check, unlike the others. Someone could have actually put something on the baby and gotten it through security this way… albeit this is highly unlikely the fact they did not screen the baby again is actually a real violation of security protocols.

    And if the TSA called it low-risk sounds like they classified it correctly and reported it as they were suppose to, it was the port authority that made the call, so why exactly are we making it sound like the TSA overreacted with the headline and first half of the story?

    • borgia says:

      Exactly, from a security standpoint, the baby is not acting as a person but is more like a “package” or a bag. If a package had gone through a security check point unscreened then the same manner of events would have happened. It doesn’t matter how cute or precious the baby might be.

    • Leksi Wit says:

      Hahaha, TSA is not making flights safer. Fools.

  2. dush says:

    I’m sure they’re all surprised they were no threat and no plane actually blew up.

  3. John says:

    Won’t someone PLEASE think about the children?

    • HomerSimpson says:

      No worries…TSA agents think about “the children” constantly.

      • oldwiz65 says:

        I swear that they must hire convicted child molesters to work as TSA agents – they are probably the only ones willing to grope underage children.

    • Leohat says:

      I love children, but I can never eat a whole one.

      /with BBQ sauce.

  4. Important Business Man (Formerly Will Print T-shirts For Food) says:

    I check my own babies at home. -___-

  5. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    Two problems with this story:

    1. There is no cat in the above picture.
    2. The baby did not blow up.

  6. sherrasama says:

    I was entertained briefly with images of placing your baby on the bag scanner in one of those trays along with your wallet and phone.

  7. sqlrob says:

    I’ve got a baby and I’m not afraid to use it!

  8. The Brad says:

    It’s like the TSA want to get rid of themselves.

    In an unrelated rant, it’s my belief that one of the reasons why the US didn’t get the summer olympics in 2016 was because of how we handle airport security.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      Many a foreign traveler will attest to the USA’s overbearing, highly invasive yet far less secure TSA goons as to the reason they _hate_ coming to visit us. I live here and once was enough for me and I haven’t flown since.

      • az123 says:

        Well most of the problem is the US will not do what is done in airports in nearly every other country in the world…. they actually profile people to determine if you are a security risk because of factors about who you are.

        Here in the states this is considered evil and wrong, but in reality it is the best way to provide security that prevents problems while actually not making life terrible for everyone. Our solution is assume everyone is a terrorist and treat them like it, rather than taking people who fit into the category of likely being a terrorist and given them a little extra attention.

        • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

          Actually, the problem is that, like you, most of America, including people in law enforcement and security, conflate racial profiling with criminal profiling. The former makes us less secure by scrutinizing or clearing people based on skin color or nationality, things that can at best predict greatly varying tendencies, and at worst be an excuse for preconceived ideas. The latter takes more objective criteria that are a direct result of a person’s social connections or behavior (like marital status, residency, political or community involvement) and use them to conclude probabilities about a person’s intent.

          Criminal profiling, in combination with scrutinizing passengers the way the Israeli military does, would provide a lot more security with less irradiation and strip-searching.

    • brettb says:

      I think the bigger consideration of the IOC related to travel were visa and entry issues rather than the security screening foreign visitors would face only on their way home.

      The TSA and security screenings have nothing to do with how unwelcome we make foreign visitors feel when preparing for their trip and while entering our country.

  9. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    So if the baby had really been implanted with Semtex a plane would have gone down. I say we need a second TSA station 100 feet down the terminal to catch all the terrorists the first one misses. All these stories of people getting guns and knives through accidentally would drop by at least 50%. How can anyone feel safe enough to fly now that a baby got through without getting felt up?

    /s (for the slow ones)

    • Stickdude says:

      But then the bad guys would have to bribe twice as many TSA agents to get their wares through.

  10. jp7570-1 says:

    TSA – when rent-a-cops are just too expensive.

  11. rockelscorcho says:


  12. BorkBorkBork says:

    Where’s a cover-our-butt sound bite by Janet “The System Worked” Napolitano when you need one?

  13. ninabi says:

    There’s more than 3 oz of liquid in that Pamper, folks. The TSA has no choice but to confiscate the baby.

  14. Blueskylaw says:

    Newark Airport? Assuming you could actually find it off
    the highway, nothing surprises me anymore about this place.

  15. AdviceDog says:

    Heh, baby as a biohazard.

  16. bdcw says:

    Was the baby over the size limit for carry-on?

  17. I Love Christmas says:

    I actually work at the other end of the phone when TSA finds out that they missed something like this. It happens weekly, and sometimes it goes like this “Yeah, we just realized that the metal detector was not working for 45 minutes between 1600-1645”, It’s 1700 or 1800 by now and we just say, ok good luck tracking down all those people who could be anywhere in the whole airport or in other airports in the country, let us know if you need the police to do anything.

  18. RJPA says:

    Only low risk because their mistake already boarded a plane.

  19. mulch says:

    Thank goodness they did not bring in the bomb squad to destroy the “suspicious package”. I can see the last shot of the baby cooing at the robot now….

  20. pika2000 says:

    This is what happens when we have TSA agents looking to nab iPads instead.
    So, why do we still have TSA again? Bin laden is dead.