Saturday, June 05, 2021

Woman arrested after reportedly trespassing at Albany International Airport (KALB)



ALBANY, New Yok (NEWS10) — On Friday night, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office arrested 34-year-old Jamie Ecker of Peru, New York. They say she was apprehended in a restricted area of the airport. Now, the airport is adamant that the breach was the result of an Allegiant Airlines representative breaching safety protocol.

NEWS10 has learned that the incident took place after the plane had been delayed by eight hours with the passengers inside. A mechanical issue—a screw or screws in a tire or wheel—caused the Nashville-bound Allegiant flight to remain on the tarmac. Reports say the environment became “rowdy” by nightfall, as the flight was meant to depart in the afternoon.

The sequence of events remains slightly hazy. NEWS10 learned that the airline gave the passengers “false hope” before eventually “ghosting” them. Many reportedly decided to pass time at the bar, leading to several altercations within the airport between intoxicated people.

The airline tried to replace the wheel, but ultimately canceled the flight and let passengers deplane after the lengthy wait. Irritated, intoxicated people could not get their baggage, and one person said they could not access desperately needed medication. Albany Sheriff Craig Apple said that an officer was hurt trying to help handle the apparent chaos.

“We had an individual—again, who was intoxicated—go into a secure area because of Allegiant Air’s negligence. So Allegiant Air jeopardized the safety and security at the airport,” Apple said. “I’m extremely upset about it. We will be taking it up with Allegiant first thing Monday morning.”

Ecker, allegedly intoxicated, allegedly followed an Allegiant employee into the secured area. Ecker slipped in behind the employee when she scanned her badge to access a restricted area. Airport safety policies mandate carefully securing passage to restricted areas by scanning individual badges.

Take a look at the full statement recounting more of the sequence of events from a spokesperson with Albany International Airport:

“The incident unfolded at 9:07 p.m. after an eight-hour delay and eventual cancellation of Allegiant Airlines’ Albany-Nashville flight.”

“Deputies arrested 34-year-old Jamie E. Ecker of Peru, NY after she proceeded to go behind the Allegiant ticket counter and chase after an Allegiant representative to retrieve her luggage.”

“The Allegiant representative failed to allow the security door to the ramp close before proceeding to the ramp.”

“The subject was able to pass through the door before it closed and access the ramp area where she was arrested.”

“This issue is being handled with Allegiant corporate.”

4 comments:

  1. Mayhem and chaos ensued. Very unsettling situation to say the least...

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  2. "NEWS10 has learned that the incident took place after the plane had been delayed by eight hours with the passengers inside".

    Eight hours inside an aircraft sitting on the ramp is BS. The airline absolutely knew in advance that it would take more than a few minutes to change out a tire. (Seems odd they wouldn't have noticed there was a problem with that tire during preflight and before they boarded the flight).

    It's ridiculous to hold people onboard a disabled aircraft for eight hours. To me, this is being held hostage. I understand there are circumstances that happen such as weather delays where passengers may need to remain onboard for at most two hours so the flight can depart on a moments notice. In this type scenario where there's an extended delay it makes no sense to retain passengers onboard.
    It only takes a few minutes to re-board a flight and that could begin once they know the mechanics are getting close to having the repairs completed. If some passengers wonder away form the gate area and miss the flight... too bad!

    Once they knew there was a problem getting the tire changed out the passengers should have been allowed to de-board. I highly doubt the captain and 1st officer were onboard that flight the entire eight hours! Flight attendants most likely got stuck dealing face to face with the passengers during that eight hours.

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  3. You get what you pay for in airfare.

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  4. Wait...two completely separate and unrelated security breaches at this same airport on the same day?? See story below for same airport where accuses breached the cockpit of a parked plane.

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