Stowaway arrested after boarding flight at LAX
Airline officials and the Transportation Security Administration on Tuesday were reviewing their screening processes after a woman was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for allegedly boarding a flight from San Jose without a ticket.
"The passenger was screened by TSA for any prohibited items. It's really important to point that out," said Rosemary Barnes, spokeswoman for Mineta San Jose International Airport. "Public safety was not compromised in any way."
Marilyn Jean Hartman, 62, was discovered after the plane landed at LAX and Southwest Airlines employees conducted a head count, officials said.
She was being held on $500 bail following her arrest by airport police at 11 p.m. Monday, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. According to NBC, Hartman has a history of attempting to board planes sans ticket. NBC notes that she tried "Three times in February, twice in March and at least once in April she attempted to board flights at SFO." Two of those times, she made it all the way to the boarding area.
SF Weekly noted that District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said she seemed sound of mind, and was "well-groomed, well-spoken, and articulate." She struck him as a "lonely" person who may have sought out airports because they are full of people.
"She should never have gotten on that plane," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin), a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, told CNN.
SJC security officials said that Hartman bypassed a document-checker while he was checking a family's boarding passes, according to Swalwell.
"Certainly two instances of unticketed passengers getting on a plane at San Jose within the last four months is concerning," the congressman said. In April, he called for improved perimeter security after a 15-year-old boy climbed a fence at Mineta San Jose and survived a flight to Hawaii in the wheel well of a plane. Swalwell says TSA agents need more training.
Alan Wang of CNN affiliate KGO-TV contributed to this report.Related:
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