Authorities evacuated thousands of passengers from Bush Intercontinental Airport on Wednesday after a woman cut through a security checkpoint without being screened.
Officials do not think the woman intended any harm.
"She was, in fact, looking for a restroom," said Christopher White, spokesman for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. "She walked out the exit lane and turned around and walked right back in," White said.
Travelers, including some boarding aircraft, were forced outside after the security breach that happened about 12:30 p.m. at Terminal B, which services Continental Express and Northwest Airlines.
Airport trams were shut down as police searched the terminal for the woman, discovered within about 40 minutes. Her name was not released.
The terminal reopened after the woman was found, but she and numerous other passengers had to be rescreened.
"The rest of the terminals at Bush Intercontinental Airport were not affected, and business went on as usual there," said Mark Mancuso, the Houston Airport System's deputy director for public safety and technology.
"She may have actually been a connecting passenger and had gotten off an airplane and was somewhat confused about where to go next," Mancuso said. "I don't know that she even realized what she had done."
Some passengers who endured a second round of security checks grumbled about the delay. And others took it in stride.
"All you can do is be patient - go with the flow," said Nan Goodwin, who was hoping to make her flight to Midland-Odessa. "I'll get home eventually."
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