Interpol: More than a billion passengers fly with unchecked travel documents

SAN DIEGO - The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has raised questions about passport screening across the world.

The international police agency Interpol claims more than a billion people boarded planes in 2013 without having their travel documents checked against its lost and stolen passport database.

Officials say two Iranian passengers on Flight 370 used stolen passports to board the Boeing 777. Neither has been linked to terrorist organizations.

International passengers at the San Diego International Airport were surprised to learn of lax passport checks worldwide.

"I don't think they did scan it until we got to the United States," Daniel Powell said after traveling from Rio de Janerio to San Diego. "We got to make sure people are having their passports scanned before they get on a plane so we know who they are."

Currently, only a handful of countries compare passports to Interpol's database -- mainly the United States, England and the United Arab Emirates.

"There are some airlines in the world that you would not want to fly simply because there is not proper screening even at the security level," airline security expert Glen Winn said.

Winn, who spent his career in the U.S. Secret Service and with United Airlines, said business travelers should stick to flying American air carriers and their partner airlines, especially if they are not flying to or through the United States.

Interpol has recently given two major airlines access to its database so they can compare passenger passports before boarding is complete.

Air Arabia and Qatar Airlines will begin screening passengers on a trial basis.

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