The Transportation Security Administration is looking into why Miss Connecticut USA, Desiree Perez, tweeted that she was allowed to board a plane at Bradley International Airport Friday without having proper identification.
Perez tweeted "I forgot my ID at home and didn't realize until I got to the airport! Thank you TSA and @united for letting me use my sash & crown as my ID." The tweet has since been deleted.
Perez told NBC Connecticut she did post the tweet and doesn't see anything wrong with it, but deleted it after questions were raised.
A spokesperson for the Miss Connecticut USA Pageant first confirmed to NBC Connecticut that Perez forgot her ID on Friday and was allowed to use her sash and crown as verification to let her board a United Airlines flight departing from the Windsor Locks, Conn., airport.
Perez was headed to West Virginia for a photo shoot, the spokesperson said.
In a later phone conversation, the spokesperson said Perez also showed a credit card as a secondary form of identification. After contacting Perez, the pageant spokesperson said the beauty queen used a credit card and a phone bill as identification and that she showed a ticket agent her sash and crown, which was in a bag.
After NBC Connecticut aired the story at 6 p.m., a pageant organizer called us to say Perez had used a college ID with a photo at the security checkpoint.
The TSA website does not list a credit card, phone bill or a college ID as an acceptable forms of identification, but there are protocols for passengers who do not have identification.
The agency is investigating the incident, but disputes the tweet from Perez.
“TSA at Bradley Airport has reviewed the video footage of Ms. Perez’ screening experience and at no time did she show the TSA officer her sash or her crown so they could not have been factors in allowing her into the checkpoint as she asserts,” said Ann Davis, a spokesperson for the TSA.
A spokesperson for United Airlines said the ticket agent used the credit card as identification, but did not know what Perez used to get through the TSA screening area.
Rahsaan Johnson, the United spokesperson, later released a statement:
"The customer approached the counter without her photo identification and showed at the United agent’s request two other forms of ID that are acceptable in such situations. Consistent with procedures, the United agent noted the customer’s boarding pass to ensure TSA was aware she had not shown photo ID."