Air Marshals Denied Boarding Due To "No-fly List"

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We've all heard the stories of ordinary airline passengers denied the right to fly because their name happens to match a name on the "no-fly list" kept by the Transportation Security Administration. But it appears that some federal air marshals, who are supposed to be on board as a protective measure, have also been denied boarding for the same reason. "In some cases, planes have departed without any coverage because the airline employees were adamant they would not [allow the marshal to] fly," an unidentified air marshal told The Washington Times. On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security said it will start this week to implement a new program that allows airlines to store travelers' birthdate information, which should eliminate most of the watch-list misidentification problems. "This is good for travelers and for security, because as we make the checkpoint environment calmer, it becomes easier to spot individuals with hostile intent," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

"Hassles due to misidentification and the resulting necessity to stand in line to check in at the ticket counter [are] consistently among the deepest -- and most valid -- complaints of the traveling public," he said.