13 Passengers on Flight From Mexico Skipped Customs at JFK, Officials Say

PHOTO:American Airlines airplanes are at parked at the gate at JFK International airport in this file photo, Aug.1, 2012, in New York. Mary Altaffer/AP Photo
American Airlines airplanes are at parked at the gate at JFK International airport in this file photo, Aug.1, 2012, in New York.

Several passengers were mistakenly allowed to bypass checking in with customs and security officials after arriving on an international flight at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City over the weekend due to a security snafu, according to the airline.

American Airlines Flight 1671 arrived at JFK from Cancun, Mexico, at 8:50 p.m. Friday.

When the plane landed, some of the passengers left the airport without having their passports or bags checked through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, according to a spokesperson for American Airlines. There were 76 passengers and six crew on board, according to CPB.

Many travelers on the international flight disembarked the plane and were inadvertently directed to the domestic terminal area, according to the airline. While all of the passengers on the flight would have been checked prior to boarding against terror watch lists, the incident came within days of ISIS-related threats on New York City and concerns at a time when concerns about aviation security are heightened.

"Some passengers on flight 1671 did not complete the immigration and customs process upon arrival when they were inadvertently directed to the domestic terminal," American Airlines said in a statement.

A majority of the passengers were contacted by American Airlines and returned to the airport for customs processing, with at most three U.S. citizens remaining to be processed, according to the airline.

"We are reviewing the matter with CBP to ensure three U.S. citizens complete the process and to prevent this from happening in the future," the airline said.

Initially, 13 out 76 people on the plane bypassed CBP screening, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which noted that all but three of them -- who are U.S. citizens -- have been called back for screening.

The snafu was attributed to an "airline employee error" off the jetway, according to a source familiar with the matter.