Florida airport staff get lesson in nation's geography

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Florida airport staff get lesson in nation's geography
FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2014 file photo, a TSA agent checks a bag at a security checkpoint area at Midway International Airport in Chicago. Spending for the Homeland Security Department hangs in the balance as Congress fights over unrelated immigration provisions attached by Republicans to the agency’s annual spending bill. In the view of some House conservatives, though, shutting off the agency’s budget is “not the end of the world.“ What would happen if Congress fails to reach a deal to renew homeland security spending by Feb. 27? (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
In this photo taken Tuesday, March 24, 2015, a passenger shows a boarding pass to a TSA agent at a security check-point at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A TSA officer hand checks a purse, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Transportation Security Inspector Cara Ropp and Nestle check out passengers at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015 in Romulus, Mich. The TSA showed off Nestle who is being used to detect explosives and explosive components at the airport. The passenger screening canines, or PSCs, are being used to identify and locate potential explosive threats at security checkpoints. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Journalist Justin Gray stopped by TSA agent who didn't know District of Columbia was in US --> http://t.co/44svhkryP7 http://t.co/VzhaYcgRdY
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Luggage moves through a new explosives detection system at the Newark Liberty International Airport on May 1, 2014 in New York City. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), now uses the automated in-line baggage system at the airport's Terminal C. The system uses about a mile of conveyor belts to automatically screen, sort and track baggage. Nine explosives detection machines can screen more than 600 pieces of luggage per hour. If a bag requires additional screening, it is automatically diverted to a separate room where it is manually screened by TSA officers. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
A TSA agent waits for approval to release travelers as they go through airport security at the screening area of the Richmond International airport in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. The Obama administration's top transportation security official on Monday urged passengers angry over safety procedures not to boycott airport body scans. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
A young traveler hands over his travel document to a TSA agent at Love Field airport in Dallas, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. More than 43 million people are to travel over the long holiday weekend, according to AAA. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 23: A TSA agent checks luggage as passengers arrive for flights at O'Hare International Airport May 23, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago's O'Hare and Midway International Airports expect 1.5 million passengers over a six-day travel period covering Memorial Day weekend beginning Thursday, May 22 and running through Tuesday, May 27. AAA forecasts the number of drivers taking to the roads for the holiday will hit a 10-year high, with roughly eight in ten Americans taking road trips during the long weekend. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
BOSTON - MAY 13: At Logan Airport Terminal a sign points to the new TSA New Pre Check Enrollment Center at Logan Airport. The TSA Administrator John S. Pistole was on hand to introduce the new center. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Luggage moves through a new explosives detection system at the Newark Liberty International Airport on May 1, 2014 in New York City. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), now uses the automated in-line baggage system at the airport's Terminal C. The system uses about a mile of conveyor belts to automatically screen, sort and track baggage. Nine explosives detection machines can screen more than 600 pieces of luggage per hour. If a bag requires additional screening, it is automatically diverted to a separate room where it is manually screened by TSA officers. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Luggage moves through a new explosives detection system at the Newark Liberty International Airport on May 1, 2014 in New York City. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), now uses the automated in-line baggage system at the airport's Terminal C. The system uses about a mile of conveyor belts to automatically screen, sort and track baggage. Nine explosives detection machines can screen more than 600 pieces of luggage per hour. If a bag requires additional screening, it is automatically diverted to a separate room where it is manually screened by TSA officers. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Luggage moves through a new explosives detection system at the Newark Liberty International Airport on May 1, 2014 in New York City. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), now uses the automated in-line baggage system at the airport's Terminal C. The system uses about a mile of conveyor belts to automatically screen, sort and track baggage. Nine explosives detection machines can screen more than 600 pieces of luggage per hour. If a bag requires additional screening, it is automatically diverted to a separate room where it is manually screened by TSA officers. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Luggage moves through a new explosives detection system at the Newark Liberty International Airport on May 1, 2014 in New York City. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), now uses the automated in-line baggage system at the airport's Terminal C. The system uses about a mile of conveyor belts to automatically screen, sort and track baggage. Nine explosives detection machines can screen more than 600 pieces of luggage per hour. If a bag requires additional screening, it is automatically diverted to a separate room where it is manually screened by TSA officers. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Luggage moves through a new explosives detection system at the Newark Liberty International Airport on May 1, 2014 in New York City. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), now uses the automated in-line baggage system at the airport's Terminal C. The system uses about a mile of conveyor belts to automatically screen, sort and track baggage. Nine explosives detection machines can screen more than 600 pieces of luggage per hour. If a bag requires additional screening, it is automatically diverted to a separate room where it is manually screened by TSA officers. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20: A TSA arm patch is seen at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on February 20, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson is viewing Transportation Security Administration security operations and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Facility at LAX, and will meet with the Joint Regional Intelligence Center in Los Angeles on his two-day visit to southern California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20: Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson greets TSA agents after addressing a press conference at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on February 20, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Johnson is viewing Transportation Security Administration security operations and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Facility at LAX, and will meet with the Joint Regional Intelligence Center in Los Angeles on his two-day visit to southern California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
A TSA agents directs travelers lined up to have their travel documents checked at Love Field airport in Dallas, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. More than 43 million people are to travel over the long holiday weekend, according to AAA. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Travelers cue up to have their travel documents checked by TSA agents at Love Field airport in Dallas, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. More than 43 million people are to travel over the long holiday weekend, according to AAA. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
TSA agents pause for a moment of silence in honor for their fallen colleague Gerardo Hernandez at Los Angeles International Airport Friday, Nov 8, 2013. Airports around the nation observed a moment of silence Friday to honor the Transportation Security Administration officer killed by a gunman at Los Angeles International Airport a week ago. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
TSA agents at Omaha's Eppley Airfield instruct passengers to move back Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, as one of the terminals was evacuated and shut down when a suspicious item was spotted in a piece of luggage. The federal Transportation Security Agency says it called for the evacuation of the airport's north terminal around noon after x-ray screening workers saw an item in a carry-on bag. Officials have not said what the item was. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
A TSA agent inspects a passenger's ID at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009, in Linthicum, Md. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
An agent with the Transportation Security Administration works with a passenger at JetBlue Airways' new Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008 in New York. The TSA is part of the Department of Homeland Security. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
An agent with the Transportation Security Administration works with passengers at JetBlue Airways' new Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008 in New York. The TSA is part of the Department of Homeland Security. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A passenger collects her carry-on luggage after passing through a security check point at JetBlue Airways' new Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008 in New York. The agent at left works for the Transportation Security Agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A traveler is patted down by a TSA agent as they go through security at the Salt Lake City International Airport Wednesday, June 1, 2011, in Salt Lake City. A Utah lawmaker wants to make it illegal for federal Transportation Security Administration workers to pat down travelers at the state's airports without probable cause. (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart)
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By Barbara Liston

(Reuters) - Federal security officers at Orlando International Airport were getting a geography lesson this week after one failed to recognize the nation's capital as part of the United States.

The incident occurred over the weekend at the airport security checkpoint when an officer for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration initially refused to accept a passenger's District of Columbia driver's license as a valid form of identification, and asked for a passport.

Unfortunately for the TSA, the passenger happened to be a Washington, D.C.-based reporter for Orlando ABC affiliate WTSP which aired a story detailing the incident on Tuesday, attracting more media notice.

WTSP declined to comment to Reuters, and the TSA also had little to say about the incident on Wednesday.

"A valid Washington, D.C., driver's license is an acceptable form of identification at all TSA checkpoints," according to a written statement from spokesman Ross Feinstein.

The reporter, Justin Gray, said in his broadcast that the officer told Gray he didn't recognize the District of Columbia driver's license before requesting a passport. Gray, who wasn't traveling with his passport, said he queried the officer.

"'Do you not know what the District of Columbia is? Washington, D.C.?' After some back and forth, it became clear he didn't," Gray said.

Gray said he finally made it through security and complained to a TSA supervisor.

Gray said a TSA spokesman told him that all officers at the Orlando airport will be shown a DC driver's license.

TSA agents, who are trained to detect fraudulent documents, check various forms of identification - including hundreds of federal, state, and international IDs of more than 1.8 million passengers at 450 airports nationwide daily, according to agency figures.

A national capital distinct from the states, which came to be called the District of Columbia, was provided for in the U.S. Constitution so that the government could take charge of its own security and needs. Its boundary, name and name of its city - Washington - were established in 1791-92 during George Washington's presidency.

(Editing by David Adams and Eric Walsh)

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