Who's on board?


American Airlines just can't catch a break lately. Last week it had to deal with the randy rummies who turned business class into boudoir-crass. This week the carrier has the FBI on its case.

Due to a series of mistaken identity misadventures that would have made Billy Wilder cry, Willy Pompee Sr., 43, wanted by the Feds for questioning, took off on an American Airlines flight out of Miami International Airport while FBI and U.S. Customs agents stood watching in utter amazement.

According to a story in the Miami Herald, Pompee Sr.'s name was spotted on the passenger list by Miami-Dade police. They asked that the flight be detained and yanked him off the plane, thinking he was Willy Pompee Jr., 20, son of Pompee Sr. and a wanted man. The FBI guys questioned the father and put him on another flight.

Next, the FBI changed its mind and decided they wanted the father after all, so they requested the flight be detained once again. By now, the plane had already left the gate but had been ordered to turn around. It didn't. A dispatcher who thought the second order to detain must have been a mistake gave the pilot the all-clear for takeoff.

Pompee Sr. is in Port au Prince. Pompee Jr. is on the lam. American says it's really, really sorry.


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