Just in case, people missed this before the thread was closed here is an article on the findings of the "incident" at Miami.
County frets over prince's treatment
County officials fear that fallout from the security screening of the crown prince of Spain at Miami International Airport could equal an `international incident.'
BY LUISA YANEZ
Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess on Monday issued a seven-page report detailing how the airport screening of the crown prince of Spain last week turned into a diplomatic flap that could hurt the county's image and economy.
While no single party was blamed in Burgess' memo, county officials said friction between foreign dignitaries arriving at Miami International Airport and federal Transportation Security Administration personnel must be addressed.
The memo offered a glimpse at how heated the situation became as Prince Felipe, his fiancé and entourage were screened in a private lounge before catching a flight to Madrid last Thursday:
• The prince's caretakers were so livid that the royal belongings were publicly pulled out of carry-ons that they reached out and grabbed them from the screeners.
• Spain's deputy consul in Miami became irate at a female TSA supervisor and repeatedly screamed in her face, prompting her to ask for police assistance.
• Among those who rushed over to mediate the royal mess was Miami-Dade Aviation Department's protocol chief, Irving Fourcand, who alerted top county officials about the incident.
Saying the scene is ''likely to achieve the status of an international incident,'' Burgess recommended the county work with federal security officials to see that VIPs at MIA are screened discreetly and expeditiously.
In particular, he recommended that the county implement a courtesy escort program for diplomats in conjunction with the State Department.
He also suggested working with TSA to equip private screening locations with less intrusive walk-through metals detectors and portable X-ray devices.
''We just want to expedite the process for folks coming through MIA,'' Burgess said.
On Monday, a TSA spokeswoman reiterated agency employees did nothing inappropriate.
Without a State Department escort, the royal couple and their entourage had to undergo a security search just like everyone else.
''We owe no apology for what the public has a right to expect,'' said Lauren Stover, TSA spokeswoman in Miami. ``Under these circumstances, we were required by law to conduct proper screening procedures.
``We are unequivocably firm about the professional manner in which our screeners conducted the inspection -- with compassion, respect and humility.''
Burgess said in a phone interview that Miami-Dade ''has a unique situation'' as the primary gateway to the U.S. for foreign visitors.
Making a prince or any other VIP unhappy has ''broader implications,'' said Frank Nero, president and CEO of The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade's economic development agency.
``A situation like this doesn't help economically.''
In the heat of the dispute, the local head of Iberia Airlines -- which represents $157 million and 2,000 jobs to the South Florida economy -- suggested the carrier might leave MIA due to the royal flap.
''We hope an incident like this doesn't hurt in our selling of MIA, which is vital to our community,'' Burgess said.
Mayor Alex Penelas has already sent a letter of apology to the royal family.
''The mayor is not saying the prince and his people should not go through security like everyone else, but there should be an approved protocol process in place,'' said Javier Soto, Penelas' chief of staff.
``We're supposed to make people feel welcomed.''
Thursday's incident was not the first time a dignitary has had trouble at MIA.
In October, Dame Ivy Dumont, governor-general of the Bahamas, was required to remove her shoes during security screening -- leading the Bahamian foreign ministry to register a complaint to the State Department.
Herald business writer Ina Paiva Cordle contributed to this story.