In the wake of 9/11, Travel Safety Administration (TSA) officials added more security checkpoints as well as new inspection measures to create a safer flying experience for the general public. Well, these measures didn’t stop a 62-year-old woman from making her was past security and onto a plane.
But this isn’t Marilyn Jean Hartman’s first attempt to board a plane without a ticket. Earlier this year, she was sentenced to 18 months probation for attempting to board three different flights to Hawaii at San Francisco International Airport. Authorities say Hartman attempted to sneak her way past security three days in a row, but ultimately failed in doing so. Hartman claimed she wanted to fly “somewhere warm” to ease the symptoms of her cancer. According to the Chronicle, however, her cancer has been remission for several years now.
Last week, Hartman allegedly made it past the security screening checkpoint at Mineta San Jose International Airport and boarded a Southwest Airlines flight to LAX. Authorities arrested her once the flight landed. She pleaded no contest to this incident and was sentenced three days in jail and 2 years probation. Outside of the courthouse, Hartman told reporters, “I don’t think it’s wise to say how I got through. I don’t want to help the enemy. I want to go with a paid ticket. I want to do everything legal. It was clearly wrong on my part. It was stupid and it is something I don’t want to repeat.”
The Airport also released a statement regarding the security breach:
“Airport Police officers did not observe Hartman attempting to purchase an airline ticket and she did not have a ticket or boarding pass in her possession when arrested.
What’s even more shocking, however, is that Hartman allegedly continued her airport antics. Airport authorities were on high alert following her arrest, fearing she would return — and they were right. Hartman was arrested for wandering the terminals without a ticket just one day after being sentenced to 2 years probation and 3 days jail. She’s currently being held on a $10,000 bond.
While officials do not believe Hartman had any ill intentions, this incident shows some serious security flaw in the current air travel system. If Hartman can make her way onboard a flight with such ease, what’s stopping a person with ill intentions from doing the same? This is a question that officials are currently trying to answer, and we may see new security measures introduced in the wake of these incidents.