TSA employee should have screened self, sneaks aboard JetBlue flight – OPShots.net

This JetBlue A320 pictured at Fort Lauderdale is the same aircraft that a TSA screener helped himself to an employee jumpseat aboard. Photo: Andrew Thon - OPShots.net

Thirty year old Carlos Rodriguez, a screener for the TSA at New York’s JFK airport, apparently believed his space-available buddy pass from a JetBlue friend entitled him to a carte-blanche ride on an employee jump-seat during a flight to Santo Domingo last Saturday, May 14th.

Approximately forty-five minutes into flight 819,  a scheduled service from JFK to Santo Domingo, the pilots were made aware of the unusual passenger.  Realizing the man did not have the proper credentials to ride a jump-seat, the crew turned the plane around and returned to New York where the “passenger” was unloaded.

“Space-available” travel is a perk offered to many airline employees, and these perks can extend to family and friends as well.  Upon checking in for his flight, Mr. Rodriguez was informed that the flight was full and that no seats were available to accommodate him in the cabin, yet somehow, he convinced the JetBlue agents that he was authorized as a “jump-seat” rider and consequently, he was allowed board the plane.

“Jump-seat” riding,  is generally reserved only for authorized crew members who are familiar with all the safety procedures of the aircraft, and have been fully trained in emergency procedures, and may be used by non-working, qualified personnel for travel.  If a crew member is traveling on a jump-seat but is not working the flight, they may often sit in an open seat in the cabin.  It is unclear at this time exactly which scenario unfolded on this flight.

Upon returning to New York,  the man was removed from the aircraft, and “…barred from the airport pending results of the probe.”

-Chuck Slusarczyk Jr. – OPShots.net

About the author

Chuck Slusarczyk Jr.

I started OPShots in June 2006 as a place to share and display aviation photos without the often restrictive policies of other aviation websites. I want to share my love of aviation with fellow aviation geeks and provide a spotlight on Cleveland Hopkins International airport in the process.


  1. zone

    Good going! Because of him, NO off-line crewmembers can ride a JetBlue FA jumpseat. He’s not the only one to blame, though. The gate agent should have been 100% sure he was a crewmember (Pilot or FA) and the lead FA should have told him to identify himself to the Captain upon boarding. Not sure how much of that was done, but in any case it’s either stupidity or complicity. He may not be the only person with some “splainin’ to do. In the end, crewmembers who depend on and appreciate the extra seats on a flight are screwed. ughhhhh. 🙁

  2. Anonymous

    The term Bonhead comes to mind.

  3. nconrad

    I feel so much safer knowing that the TSA is on the job.  What a joke of an agency.

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