Serial Stowaway Arrested at LAX Sans TicketBy: Mike Fossum - August 6, 2014
A 62-year-old woman was arrested after the flight she was on touched down at Los Angeles International Airport, after bypassing a ticket check at Mineta San Jose International Airport, where the flight originated. The stowaway was not deemed a threat to safety or security.
Los Angeles International Airport police identified the woman as Marilyn Hartman. The suspect managed to bypass the boarding pass checkpoint in San Jose before going through the Transportation Security Administration screening, amidst other ticket-holding passengers.
Hartman then boarded Southwest Flight 3785, which departed for LAX at about 7:15 p.m. Monday. Some time during the short flight, Southwest staff realized that Hartman was not supposed to be on the plane, and authorities were waiting for her upon landing. Hartman was arrested on suspicion of trespassing and was jailed with a $500 bail.
Interestingly, Hartman is not allowed on the grounds of San Francisco International Airport, after making at least three attempts to fly without a ticket. She once was able to make it onto a plane, but was found out when the ticket holder of the seat she picked boarded the flight.
Southwest Airlines said it was “actively investigating” Hartman’s breach, though all agencies involved agree that Hartman was never a safety threat. “Our number one priority remains the safety and security of our customers and employees,” the airline said in a statement.
The Transportation Safety Administration believes that Hartman was able to slip by the ticketing checkpoint while a security agent was distracted. After a preliminary review, the TSA said it has initiated “minor modifications to the layout of the document checking area.”
Southwest may face regulatory fines in connection with Monday’s incident, a TSA official said.
Image via Wikimedia Commons