Woman boards Delta flight with no boarding pass, ID: 'She did not have a ticket to any airline at all'
Authorities are investigating after a woman successfully boarded a Delta Air Lines flight from Orlando to Atlanta on Saturday with no boarding pass or valid form of identification.
The woman, later identified as Sylvia Rictor, allegedly boarded Delta Flight 1516 and sat in seat 15A until a ticketed passenger, Jenni Clemons, found the woman in her assigned seat and enlisted a flight attendant to confront Rictor, who refused to get up.
"She said very bluntly, 'I'm not moving,'" Clemons told WFTV.
Delta employees asked Rictor to produce her boarding pass, which she claims she already discarded in cellphone footage recorded by another passenger and obtained by the station.
"Who knows where I threw it out?" Rictor says. "I just threw it out as soon as I got on the plane."
A flight attendant then asks Rictor for a photo ID, leading her to produce a selfie on her cell phone.
"Ma'am, that's not a government-issued ID. That's a photo," the stewardess can be heard telling Rictor.
"Well, this is just as good," she replies.
"No, ma'am, it's not just as good," the Delta employee responds.
The rogue passenger was eventually removed from the flight and turned over to Orlando police officers, who escorted her from the airport, officials told NBC News. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) told the outlet that Rictor was, in fact, "screened," but that it could not cite more specific details due to an ongoing investigation into the incident.
Clemons said all other passengers were forced to disembark the aircraft before takeoff for an additional security screening, as Rictor allegedly refused to cooperate with the TSA.
"She did not have a ticket to any airline at all," Clemons told WFTV. "They could not figure out how she even got on the plane."
In a statement, Delta apologized for the nearly four-hour delay caused by the incident and said it is "working with local law enforcement and the Transportation Security Administration on their investigation," as well as conducting its own internal review.
"Safety and security is always our top priority," the airline added.