Expedia, one of the largest travel agencies in the United States, has asked the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to reimburse it $15 million after its flights to and from Denver were disrupted due to a bomb threat in May.
The TSA issued the request after Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) alerted it that two men who appeared to be from the same group had been in contact with the Denver Metro Police Department (MPD) on May 22, according to a DHS official familiar with the matter.
After traveling to Denver, the two men left their hotel with a backpack and a small bomb-making device, which authorities recovered.
According to the DHS official, the men were wearing masks and had their faces covered.
DHS also reported that they had traveled to Las Vegas, and a bomb squad was called in to deal with the threat.
“It’s an amazing thing that TSA would make this request, given that they are dealing with an extremely large threat,” the DHS officials told The Verge in an email.
“They were in an airport when the threat came in.
I’d be surprised if it’s not a huge cost.”
Expedia told The Guardian in a statement that it was “disappointed” by the DHS request and that the agency would “fight this in court.”
The TSA has been under increased scrutiny in recent years for security lapses, with some airlines saying they are “more than happy to accept the threat” and other airlines refusing to fly to cities where there is a bomb-detection system.
In February, the TSA announced that it would suspend its operations in some of the safest cities in the country because of a growing threat of domestic terrorism.
The DHS has been criticized for allowing the TSA to operate in the busiest cities and for allowing it to have a large footprint in those cities.
A similar situation occurred with the Transportation Secretariat, which is charged with the security of American airlines, including Delta and Southwest.
Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration suspended all flights between New York and Chicago and between Boston and Washington, DC, citing heightened concerns about terrorism threats and the potential for attacks.
In March, the DHS announced it was launching an investigation into whether Delta and United Airlines violated federal laws governing airport security.
The Department of Homeland Security is also working on a report on the safety of the transportation industry.