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WestJet fined for bypassing customs

TORONTO, March 12 (UPI) -- Canada's WestJet airline has been fined $5,300 for diverting 53 passengers from an international flight around customs in Toronto last month.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. learned of the Feb. 15 incident in which a WestJet employee opened a door the wrong way, allowing the passengers into the domestic arrivals area rather than into the international arrivals area that leads to customs agents.

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The flight originated in Tampa, Fla., and only 53 of its passengers passed through before the error was spotted.

The airline made intercom announcements for all passengers to return to the door to be sent in the right direction, the report said.

WestJet spokesman Richard Bartrem told the broadcaster the same error has been made by employees five times since January 2009 involving more than 10,000 inbound flights.

"So we're talking about less than a decimal point on the percentage side," he said.

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