JFK passport mistake only let 13 unchecked travelers in, not 150: border agency

November 24, 2015 12:59 pm

 

The agency charged with monitoring travelers entering the U.S. said Monday it inflated the number of international travelers mistakenly allowed to walk out of JFK without showing passports.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection initially said 150 passengers coming from Cancun on American Airlines Flight 1671 left JFK on Friday night without proper scrutiny.

But that number was overblown, spokesman Michael Friel clarified Monday.

The agency said only “13 of the 76 passengers inadvertently exited through a domestic gate” without going through customs.

Ten passengers have since been processed and the three who haven’t been are U.S. citizens, Friel said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection claims that "13 of the 76 passengers inadvertently exited through a domestic gate” on Friday night.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection claims that “13 of the 76 passengers inadvertently exited through a domestic gate” on Friday night.

JFK and Customs have launched an investigation into how the mistake occurred, Friel added. He said the mixup happened because he was reading from his BlackBerry.

That didn’t appease Mayor de Blasio, who blasted the snafu.

“I’m very concerned. That is a very unusual incident, but it is absolutely unacceptable,” he said.

He added he’s been in touch with the Port Authority, which oversees the New York area’s three major airports.

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