9-Year-Old Hops Plane to Vegas Without Parents or a Boarding Pass
A Catch Me If You Can scenario was played out in real life on Sunday, but the Leonardo DiCaprio in this instance was a 9-year-old boy. According to CNN, the boy was able to get through security and even board a plane from Minneapolis to Las Vegas — all without a boarding pass!
Spokesman for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Patrick Hogan said the Delta Flight 1651 crew "became suspicious of the child's circumstances" during the flight. Once they arrived in Sin City, crew members turned the child over to Child Protective Services.
"Fortunately, the flight crew took appropriate actions to ensure the child's safety, so the story does have a good ending," Hogan said, although TSA admits they are still trying to figure out how the boy got through security. They did note, however, that he was screened and determined not to be a threat on the airplane, and after looking at the video footage, airport officials say they don’t believe the boy — an obvious runaway — had a ticket.
In a written statement, Hogan said, "Obviously, the fact that the child's actions weren't detected until he was in flight is concerning.” He went on to write, "I don't know of another instance in my 13 years at the airport in which anything similar has happened.”
Flight security expert Terry Trippler of ThePlaneRules.com talked to CNN affiliate KARE, joking that the boy should have hit the tables once he got to Vegas, as he was having quite a streak of good luck. However, Trippler made sure to say that this incident was no laughing matter in how it relates to the problems with airport security. "All of this (security) since 9/11 has been to keep us safe. And it has, but still we have gaping holes, and this is a perfect example of it,” Trippler said.
Interestingly enough, the boy involved showed just how cunning he was the day before at the airport with a “dine and dash” success. He had stolen a bag off the carousel and went to eat lunch. He asked a server at the restaurant to watch his luggage for him while he went to the bathroom, but left without paying.