British Airways turned away from US
US passport-holding passenger suspected of terrorism links
Airport news for Heathrow,Flights,Travel on 18/02/2010.
A British Airways jet headed for Mexico City was astoundingly refused entry into American Airspace last week. Authorities have said it was in relation to a possible terror alert of one of the passengers on board the plane. They stated that an American citizen, with a US passport, had a data discrepancy against his name and decided to not allow the plane to enter US airspace; forcing the jet to return to London.
Upon landing at Heathrow Airport, a 55-year-old American passenger was removed from the plane before any of the other passengers and detained under the Terrorism Act. His bags were investigated and he was frisked, but it is believed that nothing was found. He was then handed over to the immigration officials.
This occurrence emphasizes how much security there is in the US now, regarding possible terrorists. It all reverts to the attempted bombing of a jet over Detroit on Christmas Day. Sources at Heathrow have said that this is the first time they know that a British carrier has been refused entry into the US. The Americans evidently think that London and the UK is the place where fanatics are based and they will be wary of anyone, including US citizens coming from the capital.
A spokesperson for Heathrow confirmed the incident with the plane returning to the UK and that one man was asked to leave the aircraft, which he did voluntarily. They state that at no time was there a breach of security throughout the incident.