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Security Breach Involving Delta Employee Rocks John F. Kennedy Airport

Man Allegedly Uses Work ID Badge To Skip Screening, Get Right On His Flight
A Delta jet at JFK Airport (file / credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

A Delta jet at JFK Airport (file / credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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Updated at 12:51 a.m., April 5, 2013

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)A bizarre security breach at John F. Kennedy International Airport will have everyone talking soon enough.

An airline employee managed to use inside access to avoid screening and ended up boarding a plane with luggage in hand, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported Thursday night.

No one is allowed to secretly enter the secure areas of our airports, not even airline employees, but a man who works for Delta is accused of getting around those rules on Wednesday night.

Marcelino Aponte, 31, was eventually arrested because instead of using proper identification and a boarding pass, he allegedly skipped lines and security screening by using his work ID — called a Secure Identification Display Area (SIDA) badge — to breeze on to his flight, officials said.

He was in his seat when authorities were told of the apparent breach, but his plane, Flight 2159, took off for Orlando, Fla. Aponte was reportedly arrested after his flight landed and is in federal custody, CBS 2’s Carlin reported.

Responding to the problem took anywhere from nine to 45 minutes depending on whether you ask law enforcement police or officials with the Transportation Security Administration, Carlin reported.

Either way passengers said it is disturbing that it happened at all.

“I don’t think it’s a good thing. I think everybody should go through security,” one passenger said.

“He should wait on line like everybody else,” another passenger said.

In a statement, the TSA said: “It appears this airline employee abused his airport privileges by using his SIDA badge to circumvent the checkpoint and board a personal flight.”

A Delta representative added: “The employee has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. Safety and security is always Delta’s top priority.”

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