Last updated: 03:04 PM ET, Mon November 23 2015

13 Passengers Bypass Customs at JFK Airport Following 'Airline Employee Error'

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | November 23, 2015

13 Passengers Bypass Customs at JFK Airport Following 'Airline Employee Error'

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American Airlines has confirmed that multiple passengers arriving at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport over the weekend were mistakenly able to bypass customs.

ABC News reported that after American Airlines Flight 1671 arrived from Cancun, Mexico, Friday night, several passengers were able to leave the airport without clearing their passports and bags through U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"Some passengers on flight 1671 did not complete the immigration and customs process upon arrival when they were inadvertently directed to the domestic terminal," American Airlines said in a statement via ABC.

Citing a source close to the situation, ABC reported the bungle was the result of an "airline employee error" that occurred as passengers were exiting the plane via the jetway.

CBP told ABC that 13 of the flight's 76 passengers bypassed customs.

In an attempt to resolve the issue, American Airlines reached out to the passengers and requested that they return to the airport for proper customs processing.

Currently, only three passengers — each of which are U.S. citizens — remain to be processed.

"We are reviewing the matter with CBP to ensure three U.S. citizens complete the process and to prevent this from happening in the future," added the airline.

Surprisingly, Friday's incident comes amid heightened security and tension stemming from recent terrorist attacks and threats.


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