Back in October Delta flight DL1516 from Orlando to Atlanta was delayed nearly three hours on Saturday when a woman with no ID or boarding pass went through TSA and boarded the flight. The plane pushed back with her on it. The TSA has now released a report on how she outsmarted them – and Delta.
The extra passenger on board the Boeing 757 was identified when she was found sitting in another passenger’s seat and refused to move.
A flight attendant sought help from the cockpit. Crew asked for a boarding pass, but the woman said “she threw it away after she got on the plane.” They asked for her ID and she “showed them a photo of herself on her phone.”
The ID-less unticketed passenger was removed from the aircraft by police. The plane pushed back and then “stopped on the tarmac for around an hour before returning” to the gate. The flight was waiting while bueraucrats decided how to handle their mistake. The TSA required everyone to come back and get re-screened.
Here are the confused TSA agents trying to figure out how they were outsmarted.
NEW TONIGHT – We’re working to get answers after a woman somehow got onto a flight at Orlando International Airport with no boarding pass, no ID. A passenger sent me this video of the scene afterward @fox35orlando pic.twitter.com/XNfNw6TRdm
— Samantha Sosa (@SamanthaSosa_) October 6, 2019
And video of the deplaned passengers waiting to be rescreened.
BREAKING: @Delta confirms an unticketed passenger made it on a plane from @MCO to ATL. This is video of the deplaned passengers who had to be searched, along with their bags, when officials realized the breach. One passenger says it took 45 min to get the woman off the plane. pic.twitter.com/NVwxalJQTG
— Deanna Allbrittin (@deannaTVnews) October 5, 2019
According now, to TSA:
- She tried to go through security with a JetBlue baggage receipt as her ID. She was turned away.
- So she returned to the checkpoint and joined a group of two families showing their IDs and boarding passes together. The TSA screener didn’t notice the number of people passing was greater than the number of travel documents.
- She “lined up with wheelchair passengers during the pre-boarding process and went around them as the gate agent was scanning their boarding passes and onto the jet bridge”
“I approached the woman that went around and asked if she had been scanned and she stated yes she had,” the gate agent told investigators. “… “I assumed she was with the wheelchair passenger and then allowed her to board.”
If the plane hadn’t been full, or she’d have apologized and moved to an empty seat – if she’d been quicker on her feet confronted by the passenger assigned the seat she was sitting in – she’d have been able to fly successfully without a ticket.
The FBI didn’t press charges due to the “availability of civil and administrative remedies.” She has, however, received a TSA ‘warning notice’ “which goes on the woman’s record.”
No TSA employees were disciplined for letting her go through the checkpoint without a boarding pass or ID, either.