TSA officer helps fly family to Maine after 3,000 mile mix-up

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A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer helped get a family to Maine after a travel agent mistakenly booked them on a flight 3,000 miles in the wrong direction. 

The family of three arrived in Portland, Oregon and not Portland, Maine, according to the TSA. 

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The Spanish-speaking passengers spent an entire night in the Portland International Airport “confused and disheartened” — that is until TSA officer Martin Rios lent them a helping hand.

TSA officer Martin Rios at the Portland International Airport (TSA.gov)

Not only did Rios help book the “overwhelmed” family on the right flight Monday, but he used some of his own money to do it.

After realizing that the family was struggling financially, TSA said Rios “dug into his own pocket” and helped pay for the family to get to their intended destination. 

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Senior TSA manager Jeremy Alanis said Rios’ act of kindness was no surprise at all. 

“Martin is, and has been since day one, a shining example of what it means to be a team player,” Alanis said. “[He’s] the kind of officer and person any airport in the country would be proud to have as a member of their team.”

The incident happened in November 2020, and Rios was honored with the Make the Connection Quarterly Award in recognition of his service last week.

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