British Airways Cancels London-Washington Flight
Another international flight to the United States has been cancelled amid continued security worries.
British Airways scrubbed one of three daily flights from London to the Washington area Thursday, the latest in a series of cancellations of international flights bound for the United States.
British Airways spokesman John Lamphill, "The British government directed British Airways to cancel flight 223. We can only assume that is due to security reasons, but we have no other explanation."
Wednesday, another British Airways flight was detained several hours upon arrival at Washington's Dulles Airport while U.S. authorities questioned a number of passengers and conducted extra baggage screening. All passengers were eventually allowed to disembark.
FBI spokeswoman Debbie Wierman said authorities acted on "routine interest" rather than a specific threat or allegation.
"There were names listed on the manifest of the plane that matched [the names of] persons that U.S. law enforcement officials were interested in interviewing. It was routine interest on our part, and, when it was all said and done, we had no concerns or worries."
But not everyone sees the stepped-up security effort as benign. One passenger from the delayed British Airways flight vented his displeasure. "This was detention without due process, as far as I am concerned. I am an American citizen and I expect to be treated as such in my own country."
Last week, Air France canceled a half-dozen flights between Paris and Los Angeles. Wednesday, an AeroMexico flight bound for the United States was also scrubbed after U.S. officials raised security concerns with their Mexican counterparts.
The Associated Press quotes a spokesman for Mexico's government as complaining that U.S. officials did not share specific information about what provoked their concerns.
Two weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security raised the nation's alert status to "orange" - the second highest level on a five color-coded scale. Earlier this week Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge announced new airline security measures, including an initiative to have sky marshals aboard certain flights operated by foreign carriers.
scrub [skrQb] v. 取消
bound for 开往
assume [E5sju:m] vt. 假定
be due to 由于
detain [di5tein] v. 留住，拘留
Washington's Dulles Airport 华盛顿杜勒斯机场
conduct [5kCndQkt] v. 实施
disembark [5disim5bB:k] v. 登机
FBI abbr. Federal Bureau of Investigation （美国）联邦调查局
routine interest 例行公事
allegation [7Ali5^eiFEn] n. 断言，指控
manifest [5mAnifest] n. 旅客名单
benign [bi5nain] adj. 仁慈的, 良好的
vent [vent] v. 发泄
detention [di5tenFEn] n. 滞留，拘留
due [dju:] adj. 正当的，适当的
counterpart [5kauntEpB:t] 对手，相对物
provoke [prE5vEuk] vt. 引起，激发
Department of Homeland Security 国土安全部
initiative [i5niFiEtiv] n. 首创
sky marshal 空中警官