Delta Airlines Sends Written Apology to Vice President Boakai

Saturday, 25th June 2011

Monrovia, Liberia - Delta Airlines has sent a written apology to Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Sr. for the Wednesday, June 15 incident at the Roberts International Airport in which the airline’s security insisted on searching and screening the Vice President before he could board the flight.

“I am writing to apologize for the misunderstanding that resulted in relation to the security screening that you underwent prior to your travel on Delta’s flight from Monrovia in June 15,” the Senior Vice President of Delta Airlines for Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance, Mr. Kenneth J. Hylander said in the letter dated June 22, 2011.

Mr. Hylander however reiterated that as was discussed with U.S Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Representative Bert Williams in Atlanta on June 21, Delta’s security contractor at the Roberts International Airport “correctly followed the security procedures required by TSA.”

“While Delta and ISDS had no choice in the matter, we still regret any embarrassment you were caused,” Mr. Hylander added.

He then encouraged the Government of Liberia to follow up directly with the U.S Government to complete the procedures required for the Vice President and other appropriate Liberian officials to be exempted from TSA screening requirements in the future.

Mr. Hylander added that “while decisions regarding screening exemptions rest solely with the U.S Government, Delta would be pleased to facilitate in any way possible.”

On Wednesday, June 15, a Delta Airline Security Officer, Jorde Vargas, insisted that Vice President Boakai who was enroute to the United States should undergo search and screening like any other ordinary passenger before he could board the plane.
The incident was put under control upon the intervention of the Director of the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA), Mr. Archie Williams.
At a meeting held at Atlanta Airport on June 21, the Management of Delta Airlines apologized verbally to Vice President Boakai for the embarrassment caused him, but the Vice President asked that the apology be reduced into writing.