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Delta offering vouchers to Flight 253 passengers

Delta Air Lines is offering travel credits to passengers on the Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight that a suspected terrorist tried and failed to blow up on Christmas.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Delta Air Lines Inc. is offering travel

credits to passengers on the Amsterstam-to-Detroit flight that a suspected terrorist tried and failed to blow up on Christmas.

Spokeswoman Susan Elliott told The Associated Press on Wednesday the world's biggest carrier is notifying passengers about the vouchers. The amount wasn't disclosed.

According to authorities, a Nigerian man who said he was an agent for al-Qaida tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as the plane was preparing to land in Detroit on Friday. It was carrying 278 passengers and 11 crew members.

Delta is offering its gratitude to one of the passengers who subdued the suspect. Elliott declined to say whether that passenger would receive additional compensation beyond the travel voucher.

Delta, which bought Northwest in 2008, is expected to obtain a single operating certificate from the FAA by Thursday. That would allow the airline, based in Atlanta, to put its code on Northwest flights and phase out the Northwest name.

The 23-year-old suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, arrived in Amsterdam on Friday from Lagos, Nigeria, on a KLM flight. Air France-KLM has a joint venture with Delta that involves sharing costs and revenue on trans-Atlantic flights.

After a layover of less than three hours in the international departure hall, the suspect passed through a security check at the gate in Amsterdam, including a hand baggage scan and a metal detector, and headed to the Northwest flight. He did not pass through a full-body scanner.

Officials said Abdulmutallab apparently assembled the explosive device, including 80 grams of Pentrite, or PETN, in the aircraft toilet, then planned to detonate it with a syringe of chemicals. Passengers intervened, and the plan failed.

Abdulmutallab's name was in one expansive database, but he never made it onto more restrictive lists that would have caught the attention of U.S. counterterrorist screeners, despite his father's warnings to U.S. Embassy officials in Nigeria last month. Those warnings also did not result in Abdulmutallab's U.S. visa being revoked.

U.S. investigators said Abdulmutallab told them he received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen.

Abdulmutallab, charged with trying to destroy an aircraft, is being held at a federal prison in Milan, Mich.