- The Washington Times - Friday, February 14, 2003

A cosmetologist carrying scissors and "haircutting instruments" was removed from a flight at Washington Dulles International Airport on Saturday with a companion after the pilot refused to fly with them on board.
The two men passed through the initial screening checkpoint without having the scissors or other tools detected. The cosmetologist then was selected for a random search, in which the prohibited items were found.
"TSA screeners did detect legitimate haircutting instruments," said Chris Rhatigan, Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman. "He voluntarily relinquished them. He had legitimate documentation. He is a licensed cosmetologist."
Screeners allowed the men to board an American Airlines flight, but a flight attendant was suspicious of their motives for carrying the sharp instruments and told the pilot. The pilot refused to fly while they were on board.
"A flight attendant was uncomfortable," Miss Rhatigan said. "The pilot, sensing her degree of uncomfortableness, had the passengers removed from the flight."
The men were allowed to board a second flight about an hour later and arrived without incident at their destination in Los Angeles.
"They had every right to be traveling," Miss Rhatigan said.
The incident occurred one day after the Department of Homeland Security raised the nation's terrorist threat level from "elevated" to "high," or Code Orange.
Tom Ramstack

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