Boy flies to Vegas without boarding pass

2013-10-07 10:44

Minneapolis - A 9-year-old boy managed to slip under the radar of TSA officials and gate agents without a boarding pass at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and flew to Las Vegas alone over the weekend.

NBC News reports that security camera tapes show the child boarding a Delta flight undetected. 

While the TSA does allow special leniencies for travelling children, Delta requires minors flying alone to be accompanied to the departure gate by an adult who must remain until the flight takes off. 

"If the unaccompanied minor arrives at the counter alone, the Delta agent will not be permitted to complete check in," Delta's website says.

Airport spokesperson, Patrick Hogan said security footage showed the 9-year-old waited until the person who was at the gate was busy and then got on the plane.

The TSA released a statement that said, the child had been screened along with all other passengers to ensure that he was not a threat to the aircraft.

The boy apparently told flight attendants that his parents were sitting at the back of the plane, but the flight crew soon got suspicious when they realised that the boy was not listed on the roster of children travelling alone. 

He was taken into custody by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and Child Protective Services on landing and arrangements were made for his return to Minneapolis. 

The boy's mother said she thought he was at a friend's house and reported him missing when she realised he was, in fact, not. He has a history of behavioural problems and was recently suspended from school. 

Police at the airport were familiar with the 9-year-old because he had caused problems there before, the source added.

Hogan said the fact that the child's actions went undetected until he had boarded the flight was concerning, but added that the airport itself is not usually involved in passenger processing. 

Thirty-three million people travel through the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport each year, according to Hogan, who has worked there for 13 years and this was the first time he had experienced a case such as this.

Read more on:    flights  |  air travel  |  travel  |  travel international

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