Airline employee led Gore around airport security swap.
NASHVILLE (AP) — An airline employee led former Vice President Al Gore and two associates around airport security lines before police spotted the breach and required them to be screened, officials said Thursday.
The employee of American Airlines led the three down to the lower baggage level Wednesday and improperly swiped each of them through a secure turnstile with her security badge, Nashville International Airport spokeswoman Lynne Lowrance said. She declined to identify the employee.
The breach was spotted by airport police officer Sgt. Gary Glover, who was assigned to wait for Gore to come through security and escort him to his gate.After Gore never came through security, Glover found the former vice president, his communications director Kalee Kreider and another staffer waiting at the gate for the flight to Miami.
The officer asked the group if they went through security, and when they said they hadn’t, they were taken back and fully screened. Gore did not complain and cooperated fully, Lowrance said.
“Everyone goes through security,” she said of the employee’s action. “It showed bad judgment. They were trying to be helpful, maybe too helpful.”
The employee will be required to go through the airport security training course again, Lowrance said. Any other penalties, if any, would come from her employer.
The company does not discuss security issues and will not identify the employee, American Airlines spokesman John Hotard said.
Kreider said Gore’s staff usually notifies airports where he will be flying to make sure they know the former vice president will be coming through.
“What we usually request is help from the airline to check in and alert police” so that he causes minimal disruption, she said.
“It was just an unusual situation where he was taken past security and taken directly to the gate. When asked, of course, he came back through security,” Kreider said.
“I was there, and we didn’t know if standards had changed or what,” she said. “There are different policies at different airports and you basically do what you’re asked to do.”
Gore was on his way to deliver his presentation on global warming at the University of Miami.