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Teen Flies Pacific Route Free Three Times

Tue Nov 21, 2000 5:53 am

What do you think of this story:

A 15 year old boy who attempted to stowaway on a Hawaii-bound jet has stunned investigators by claiming he managed to slip aboard at least three separate transpacific flights in the past week.
The boy was caught on a UA aircraft on Wednesday by a flight attendant who found him hiding in a lavatory just as the aircraft was preparing to take off.
After he was handed over to authorities at SFO, the boy said he had managed to fly free betweem Hawaii and California three times during the past week by pretending to be with family groups.
"I believe he acted as if he belonged to somebody, to other folks who were checking through the gate at that time," a spokesman said.
The boy's apparent trip began early on Monday when, after an argument at home, he went to Honolulu airport and boarded a Northwest Airlines flight to Los Angeles. Once there, he turned around and went back to Hawaii - again flying on NW.
Back in Honolulu, he decided he'd like to visit San Francisco, so he walked onto a Delta aircraft. After a few hours he'd had enough and returned to the airport to board the United flight. There his luck ran out because there were no seats available.

Jeremiah Teahan
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
Posts: 1462
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 8:17 am

RE: Teen Flies Pacific Route Free Three Times

Tue Nov 21, 2000 6:55 am

According to the news report I heard, the boy ran away from home after a fight with his step-dad.

I have to admit, I'm surprised he was even able to slip past the podium by the jetway. If you were a gate agent, wouldn't you think it a bit strange to have a fifteen year-old who didn't carry his own ticket? Also, the F/As should have noticed that the head count didn't match the number of boarding passes collected, although sometimes those counts don't appear to be done very carefully. Perhaps the boy used the "hiding in the lav" technique more than once! If the boy didn't lock the door (alluminating the occupied sign), then there's a decent chance he wouldn't have been discovered.

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