A Delta passenger is in some trouble after he was overheard falsely identifying himself as a federal air marshal on a flight to Boston last week. The trouble came about because there was a real air marshal on board, who knows (because he is one) that real air marshals don't tell other passengers they're air marshals, because that would largely defeat the purpose of having air marshals. The fake air marshal was detained by the real air marshal, and is now being investigated by the TSA and police.
"I really can't speak to his intent" in posing as an air marshal, said a TSA spokeswoman. Translation: she didn't know what was going on and was really just there for show, like the rest of her agency.
This is by no means the first time this has happened, and by "this" I mean not just posing as an air marshal but posing as an air marshal when real air marshals are on board. In 2009, a guy trying to catch a plane in Miami flashed a badge and said he was an air marshal in order to get them to stop the plane. This worked, but as the real air marshals already on that plane quickly noticed, it was not an air marshal's badge but rather identified the man as a chief of police (for a town that turned out not to exist).
I've never been able to find out why there was more than one air marshal on that plane, so I will continue to enjoy the thought that the guy tried to pose as a fake air marshal on a plane full of real ones going to an air-marshal convention.