9 year old stows away on MSP-LAS flight

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Mike Reed, Oct 6, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Article at link: http://bit.ly/17J2c3f

    Makes you wonder who did the count on this aircraft? From the article:

    I could see that - focusing on adults and assuming they had the BP for the child. Still, a nine year old is going to require a boarding pass and a seat... they're not a lap child. Wonder if he waited until near the end so he could find an empty seat not likely to get challenged?

    Wow, this kid has some chutzpah! Crafty for a nine year old...
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
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  2. thesterlingtraveler

    thesterlingtraveler Gold Member

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    Wow! Sounds like the flight crew failed multiple pre-flight checks
     
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  3. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    The Flight Crew? Sounds like the parents/guardians failed to control this runaway child!

    The blame is not the airlines alone. As said in the article, this is a major fail on several levels and by several agencies.
     
  4. thesterlingtraveler

    thesterlingtraveler Gold Member

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    Of course, I agree... I didn't say the parent's aren't to blame. But there is an obvious fail with the gate agents and flight crew.
     
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  5. Gargoyle
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    Delta and the TSA are "investigating" this. :D
     
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  6. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Oopsie ;)


    And out of an abundance of caution, the TSA has now added 9 year old boys from Minnesota to the prohibited items list ;)
     
  7. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Not to mention the TSA. Why can't they be part of the shutdown? They're consistently proving themselves nonessential.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  8. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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  9. thesterlingtraveler

    thesterlingtraveler Gold Member

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    Too true!
     
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  10. This kid deserves honorary platinum status and the whole chain that let him through should be fired.
     
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  11. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Now it appears that the kid went airside the previous day also. (The place he ate lunch is airside.) How did the TSA document checker let him through twice with no boarding pass?
     
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  12. MSPeconomist
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    What about his school? He apparently skipped two days in a row. Aren't parents supposed to be notified?

    I'm somewhat more disturbed by his decision to take another passenger's bag from the belt in baggage claim. It's OK to take something that doesn't belong to you and use it as a prop to get through TSA security?

    OTOH, most people check bags when the bag can't be taken through TSA security. Chances are the bag was either too big, contained liquids, or contained other items that TSA prohibits, such as corkscrews with little foil cutters, large scissors, knives, etc. I wonder whether TSA should have let the bag pass.
     
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  13. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    Because they are deemed "essential". HA. I had to laugh when typing that!
     
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  14. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I have to hand it to the boy, he was polite enough not to wake the TSA as he passed through security.
     
  15. MSPeconomist
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    Now some of the media are saying that the kid has had behavior problems and was suspended from school. Still, how could he have been missing from home for a while on Wednesday and then gone since Thursday morning without the parents frantically calling the police?

    There are various reports about whether he got through TSA security a day earlier or not, presumably with the stolen bag. At first it sounded like he did, but now it appears that the restaurant where he had lunch and escaped without paying was landside. Speculation is that he was watching TSA procedures.

    I suspect it may have been luck that the LAS flight was full enough that the GA was busy and distracted but empty enough that he could grab a free seat easily. He might have gotten away with it if he had been seated near an adult or two who looked like they might be his parent. Maybe the mistake was failing to take a middle seat.
     
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  16. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    If both parents work then he could have been on his own anyway...
     
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  17. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Probably a different TSA guy each day. They probably rotate through the checkpoints.
     
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  18. Gargoyle
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    I thought their turnover was so high that they are hiring new TSO's every day.
     
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  19. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    Still, they should be checking boarding passes for all travelers...TSA didn't do their job, even if the kid was standing close enough to an adult
     
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  20. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    That's what I read as well... that he "tagged along" with a group and the TSO didn't notice, or figured he had already checked his boarding pass. Getting airside is bad, but getting inside the plane is even worse IMO.

    Getting inside the airplane though, and actually making it to your destination, without a boarding pass, now that takes a lot more in the way of failures.

    And the whole "grab a bag from the carousel" only serves to reinforce the problems with that whole setup. I did notice that some UA carousels at JFK are not accessible at all from the street -- and if you come out the wrong way and need to go to baggage claim you need to show a guard your boarding pass, so that's a bit better.
     
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  21. MSPeconomist
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    Correction: If the pictures of the restaurant shown on TV are correct, it's landside, not airside. So perhaps he didn't go through TSA security the day before. Inconclusive.
     
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  22. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    No question, failures all around. From TSA to GAs they should have been at least countin passengers and boarding passes. Shoot, I've had TSA agents even ask my children what their names were just to make sure they had boarding passes. And a 9 year old is not like a 2 year old, they definitely must have a boarding pass to get airside and onto the plane.
     
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  23. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    The one time we took our son as a lap infant he still needed a boarding pass, it just said "infant in lap" or something like that on it.

    Nowadays (he's 3 1/2) he has his own boarding pass, and in the years he's been flying in his own seat there has never been a TSO that didn't check to make sure he had one.

    We flew with him into MSP earlier this year and we never saw this kind of oversight.
     
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  24. MSPeconomist
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    On two recent DL flights, I noticed young kids who obviously weren't in the same cabin as a parent and who also very obviously hadn't paid the required UM fee. I was shocked that GAs aren't enforcing this more carefully, not only for the revenue but also as a matter of protecting people, especially the kids. On my last flight, I observed the at most seven-year-old escape from the first row (dad and a sibling were way in the back, as they got one upgrade at the gate) and look lost in a deserted airport at 11:30 pm. It was rather scary as something bad easily could have happened.
     
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  25. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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