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Last Updated: Monday, 16 June, 2003, 18:48 GMT 19:48 UK
David Nelsons in US airport alerts
If your name is David Nelson, be prepared for a long wait if you're catching a flight in the US.

Over the past few months, commuters by that name have been stopped from boarding planes amid an apparent security alert.

At least four cases have been reported of David Nelsons being stopped at airports in four different states.

Oh boy! Here's another David Nelson
Ticket agent, Los Angeles Airport
Security officials have neither confirmed nor denied the name belongs to a terror suspect whom airports have been warned to look out for.

The most recent David Nelson to fall victim to the check was a 35-year-old actor from Hollywood.

He said a ticket agent at Los Angeles Airport looked at his drivers' licence and said: "Oh boy! Here's another David Nelson".

Mr Nelson said the agent told him the name brings up a "red flag" for terrorists.

A few months earlier, he said, he was taken off a flight and searched by FBI agents before being allowed to reboard.

Singled out

The actor is not alone in having encountered such an experience.

Namesakes have also reportedly been stopped at airports in the states of Oregon, Alaska and South Dakota.

Former child television star David Nelson, of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, was among those to have been singled out.

He said he was also stopped by a ticket agent at John Wayne Airport in Orange County and was only allowed to go on his way after two police officers recognised him from TV.

Mr Nelson, now 66, said he told the agent: "I don't think [terrorists] have the middle name 'Ozzie'."

Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez said the problem was due to name-matching technology used by airlines, the Associated Press reported.

He said it was not the name itself but letters within the name which are identified by computer software and raise an alert.

US airlines may get stun guns
10 Jun 03  |  Americas

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