9-Year-Old Minneapolis Boy Flies To Las Vegas Without A Ticket

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 7, 2013 1:45PM

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A TSA worker is shown sleeping on the job at O'Hare International Airport in 2007. (Photo credit: Erin Nekervis)

Authorities are investigating how a 9-year-old boy from was able to get through airport security at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and board a flight bound for Las Vegas last Thursday.

Security officials screened the boy shortly after 10:30 a.m. after he arrived at the airport via light rail. He then boarded a Delta Air Lines flight headed for Vegas at 11:15 a.m. The boy’s luck ran out when the flight crew didn’t see his name on a list of unattended minors and contacted Las Vegas Police, who met them upon landing and took the boy into protective custody. The boy's parents told Minneapolis police they "hadn't seen much of him today."

Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan said it’s believed the boy passed the security checkpoint by latching on to another family. "And at the jet way to the flight it looks like he waited for a moment when the flight crew was busy helping other passengers to go down the jetway,” Hogan added. “That's the way it appears to be on the security footage anyway." The boy has been coy about his motives for boarding the plane but mentioned to authorities he had a video game pal in Vegas.

TSA was in CYA mode when they explained why they let the boy pass their security checkpoint.

“The TSA checkpoints are not there to stop people; they’re there to stop dangerous items. So we don’t know how this child got past that TSA screening point,” said Austin. “Presumably he got checked as he is supposed to and didn’t pose a threat to the safety of the aircraft he was on or any operations there, but he was someplace where he shouldn’t have been, and if that’s a vulnerability that should be closed off.”

Airport video footage also showed the boy at the airport last Wednesday. He grabbed a bag from a luggage carousel and went to a restaurant outside the security checkpoint where ordered and ate lunch, told the server he had to go to the bathroom, left the bag and never returned to pay.

He’s a crafty little bugger.