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February 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tiff Brewing: American Airlines Won’t Let Off Duty Fed Agents Carry Guns if They Fly at Discount Rate or Free

american airlines logoBy Jon Perkins

WASHINGTON — A tiff has been brewing between American Airlines and federal agents over the right to carry guns aboard planes.

Bottom line: the airline won’t let off-duty agents carry a gun aboard a plane if they fly at reduced rates or free on “buddy passes” in what’s known in the industry as a “non-revenue” passenger.

Interestingly, American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith told that if off duty federal agents pay full fare they can carry a gun.

That policy hasn’t sat well with Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (F.L.E.O.A), who fired off a Dec. 10 letter to the airlines.

“We have received reports that American Airlines has repeatedly denied boarding to federal law enforcement officers flying in a non-revenue capacity,” Adler wrote. “From an airline victimized by two terrorist attacks, resulting in the death of thousands of Americans, we find this policy disturbing for a number of reasons.”

“Their revenue status should have no bearing,” he added later on in the letter. “For American Airlines to essentially say ‘it’s okay if you pay, but not if you don’t’ is absolutely ridiculous. I can assure you that a federal law enforcement officer would not base their reactions to a hijacking on whether they paid full fare or not, nor should American Airlines.”

“It’s not as if when you’re on duty you’re Superman and when you’re off-duty you’re a clumsy Clark Kent,” Adler said in an interview with this week , adding that the agents were “valuable assets” when it came to airplane security.

Earlier this week, the airline conceded that it was reviewing what it now considered a flawed policy.

Smith, of Fort Worth-based American, said the company’s security chief and other personnel have almost completed a review of the current policy and that most company officials, including the head of security, had disagreed with it.

“The situation is on its way to being solved,” Smith said, adding that the policy affected relatively few officers and that “it was not an intentionally discriminatory thing.”

“It fell through the cracks,” he said. “We’re going to fix it. We’re going to take care of these guys.”

As of Feb. 2, the move to fix the matter had not been communicated to the law enforcement association.

In the meantime, Adler said the association has asked President Obama to issue an executive order allowing any certified officer aboard any domestic flight to carry a weapon. That would resolve the issue.

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Comment from harrythebody
Time February 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Why are federal agents flying in a “non-revenue capacity” or better put FOR FREE? Its no doubt that Fleoa is concerned about freebies for its members since Fleoa personel travel around and have a convention at member expense – so they are used to not paying. When has any “non revenue” Federal agent thwarted anyting – maybe they would like free drinks too? Good for AA – others should follow.

Comment from FlyCop
Time February 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Hey Harry……A little jealous? Free that’s an excellent suggestion. I’ll have to bring it up at the next meeting. You should join us. After all, you, the taxpayer, are paying for the coffee and donuts. Have a nice day.

Comment from harrythebody
Time February 11, 2010 at 9:23 am

maybe the IRS should tax federal freebie agents on the use of their free govt vehicles for their daily commutes, free tolls, gas and parking too – just like any businessman. Lets save the taxpayers money.

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