Man Manages To Board Flight Without A Ticket After Leaving Prison

It makes sense that everyone has to take off their shoes to go through security, but then a recently released inmate can swan past security and board a flight without a ticket, doesn’t it? A man who got out of jail on Memorial Day hopped on a flight in San Diego without bothering with the whole ticket thing, but he just ended up going right back to jail.

NBC San Diego says the man entered the tarmac through an emergency door in the airport’s commuter terminal. The alarm did go off, so the guy just hotfooted it through the tarmac and mixed in with the other passengers boarding a United Airlines flight to Los Angeles.

A witness says he handed off his duffle to a flight attendant and said he really needed to use the bathroom, before sitting in a seat. Attendants realized there were too many people onboard, and were able to identify the extra person, “as he looked disheveled and suspicious,” according to one passenger.

Everyone was told to deplane while dogs sniffed their bags, and a second security screening was held before takeoff.

He was escorted off the plane peacefully, arrested and taken back to jail while police investigate the incident.

Fresh Out of Prison, Man Boards Plane Without Ticket [NBC San Diego]

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  1. taaurrus says:

    “It makes sense that everyone has to take off their shoes to go through security, but then a recently released inmate can swan past security and board a flight without a ticket, doesn’t it?” HUH?? Proofread!!

    • augiet65 says:

      The word swan can be used as a verb. Look it up sometime.

      • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

        Is Swanning like Tebowing or Faith Hilling?

      • coujo says:

        reread the statement… “It makes sense that everyone has to take off their shoes to go through security, but then a recently released inmate can swan past security and board a flight without a ticket, doesn’t it?”

        while it isn’t exactly proper english, it does tickle the brain slightly and make you feel that a crucial part of the statement is missing.

        a fixed version “It makes sense that everyone has to take off their shoes to go through security, but then a recently released inmate can swan past security and board a flight without a ticket. makes you wonder…”

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Nope, the english is fine there.

        • psm321 says:

          Learn English. Especially the sarcasm part. kthxbai

        • Qntmcat says:

          Perhaps a clearer restatement:

          ‘Does it make sense that everyone has to take off their shoes to go through security, but then a recently released inmate can swan past security and board a flight without a ticket?’

          Also clearer, but maintaining the “isn’t it ironic” tone by keeping the interrogative at the end:

          ‘Everyone has to take off their shoes to go through security, but a recently released inmate can swan past security and board a flight without a ticket. Does this make sense?’

          Clearly, clever ‘clausation’ can cloud concepts.

    • Chris V says:

      No, it makes no sense that everyone has to take their shoes to go through security. It also makes no sense that someone can get past security without a ticket.

    • 401k says:

      why proofread when people come to the comment section to bitch about typos and grammatical errors rather than discuss the article?

  2. MeowMaximus says:

    Why do we even have the TSA?

    • CelticWhisper says:

      To condition people to blindly submit to authority.

      (Oops, was I not supposed to leak that little truth?)

    • Costner says:

      How is this the fault of the TSA? The guy didn’t even go through security screening – he just essentially broke in. The TSA doesn’t cover 100% of site security – there are layers, and in this case one of the layers of security resulted in him being detained.

      The short version is the system actually worked and prevented an unticketed passenger from flying. No system is 100% fool proof, but it would seem in this particular case things worked out. Imaging had he managed to actually fly to his destination sans ticket… that would have been newsworthy.

      • CelticWhisper says:

        Actually the system failed – it was passengers and airline staff who noticed that he looked out of place, not a TSA clerk. If TSA’s vaunted “layers” had worked, he wouldn’t have been able to enter the so-called “sterile” area of the airport to begin with.

        • Costner says:

          You misunderstood my post. The layers I’m referring to include the TSA, airport security (which may be independent of the TSA) law enforcement, military (in rare cases), air Marshalls, and yes even airline staff who check tickets / boarding passes and who perform head counts before departure.

          The TSA is not responsible for security of the entire airport. They are only one piece of the puzzle, and in this case they weren’t the issue. If anyone is to “blame” it is site security, but in the end the system (as a whole) functioned properly and the man was detained. Thus there is no problem here, and the argument against the TSA is without merit in this case.

          • spamtasticus says:

            The point is that the TSA provides no real security benefit for the massive expenditure in money, dignity and privacy. Something made evident by the fact that all someone has to do to bypass them is go around them. Although this guy was not successful it is because he was not particularly well prepared. Drive around your local airport and notice the nice little chain link fence surrounding the property. The TSA guarding our airports is analogous to a massive bank vault that is made of chain link but the front door is a cardboard mockup painted to look like a five foot thick solid steel door with super high tech locks. But it costs 1,000,000 times more than a real steel vault door with real high tech locks.

            • spamtasticus says:

              I forgot to point out the dumb bank customers walking past the fake vault door telling each other how safe they feel their money is in this bank. They then happily pay %2 of their deposits annually to fund the cardboard door.

            • Costner says:

              “The point is that the TSA provides no real security benefit for the massive expenditure in money, dignity and privacy.”

              I’m not going to defend the TSA as a whole, but again in this case the issue had nothing to do with the TSA. It seems any story that involves an airport, airline, passenger, or aircraft results in someone TSA-bashing. There is a time and a place, but I can’t fault them for someone getting on to an aircraft when it was outside of their control unless the TSA has 100% responsibility for the airport (and from what I understand they do not have control over perimeter security etc).

              “Something made evident by the fact that all someone has to do to bypass them is go around them. Although this guy was not successful it is because he was not particularly well prepared. Drive around your local airport and notice the nice little chain link fence surrounding the property.”

              This is why we have layers of security. There is generally airport security and local law enforcement onsite which are probably more able to handle people who burst through locked doors. I don’t expect a baggage screener to go all John McLain and start chasing down a guy across the tarmac. Someone dropped the ball here – I’m just not sure it was the TSA.

              I know all about the TSA’s faults and the whole concept of security theater. But blaming them for a guy running through a door and getting on to a plane requires us to ignore all the other layers involved here. I’ll gladly blame them for allowing someone to carry a gun on board and I’ll blame them for allowing theft by baggage screeners to be rampant. I’ll chastise them for feeling the need to inspect a 90 year old woman’s diaper and the need to pat down a 3 year old who is terrified. I won’t defend their voyerism when they force young women to go into body scanners time and time again, and I don’t support their silly policies such as forcing people to remove their shoes (even those which don’t contain metal) and forcing people to take off their belts etc. Yet I can’t blame them for someone breaking into an airport etc just as I can’t blame them for a ticket agent who won’t allow a woman to receive her boarding pass just because she is wearing a shirt which some may find offensive. Some things are under the control of the TSA, others are not.

              • vastrightwing says:

                No one is bashing the TSA. We are all pointing out that the role of the TSA is unnecessary and expensive. It provides no real safety. At best, the TSA makes people think there is security, like the cardboard door. It’s an illusion. I would rather save the money spent on the illusion of safety for a more comfortable flight. Yes, I’m willing to take the risk of a high jacking and go back a decade or more when you could buy your ticket at the gate 1 minute before the plane took off. Yea, that was convenient!

                • Costner says:

                  When the first comment is “Why do we even have the TSA?” and the issue had nothing to do with baggage screeners or TSA employees… it sure feels like TSA bashing to me.

                  It is like blaming BP when the engine of your car blows up. By all means blame BP for spilling some oil, but lets not get carried away.

      • Sarek says:

        Fail 1. Guy is able to get onto tarmac and nobody seems to care when the exit door alarm goes off.
        Fail 2. Guy is able to get into passenger line and nobody seems to care.
        Fail 3. Guy is able to board plane without a ticket/boarding pass. (OK, FA’s assume everyone is checked at the gate.)

        DoT Secy. also said the system worked when the passengers subdued the Underwear Bomber. Let’s not use too loose a definition of “system.”

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      It’s the fault of those stupid firemen, who insist on having doors that allow people to escape in emergencies. Just because there is alarms on them doesn’t mean we are safe!

  3. coujo says:

    was he trying to get to Zihuatanejo?

    • Murph1908 says:

      +1

    • CubeRat says:

      No, LA. He probably could have gotten to Zihuatanejo, border crossing (south) is easier than airports. I think the border checks for people going to Mexico only check for cash or guns. Occasionally.

      • IphtashuFitz says:

        You need to go watch Shawshank Redemption…

        • CubeRat says:

          I did, and I stand by my comment. It’s easier to cross the border into Mexico than to battle the airlines & TSA. The last couple of times I crossed, I wasn’t asked for any ID. I certainly was coming back, but not entering Mexico.

  4. AtlantaCPA says:

    I guess he booked a … Round Trip Ticket!

  5. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    No, it doesn’t make sense that everyone has to take off their shoes to go through security.

  6. who? says:

    I could see this happening. The commuter terminal in San Diego is a little building with like 4 gates. Passengers give their tickets to the gate agent inside the building, then line up outside and march, like ducklings, 30 or 40 yards to the waiting plane. The guy would just have to jump the fence and slip in with the other passengers somewhere outside, in between the gate and the plane.

  7. CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

    Flight attendants save the day.
    Maybe if the TSA paid as much as a flight attended they could get some good workers.

  8. zh8705 says:

    @ all that are bashing the TSA

    Yes, it’s usually their fault, but the TSA monitors the security checkpoints, they don’t monitor the emergency doorways within every terminal of every airport. This one can not be blamed on them in any way, shape or form.

    • Qntmcat says:

      So, the Transportation Security Administration doesn’t have the task of monitoring entry and egress points in an airport . . . but they *do* have the task of groping ‘random’ passengers on the off chance they might have tucked explosive devices into their genitals.

      Maybe it’s just me, but something seems strangely problematic there. Security usually includes doors, excludes body cavity searches.

  9. giax says:

    But he took off his shoes, went thru the naked scanners, and didn’t have any shampoos in larger than 3 oz containers with him. Win for the security?

  10. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Soooo…the only reason he didn’t pull it off was because the flight was full?

    • Doubting thomas says:

      I can’t get to the full article here, but according to the summary he was caught because there were too many passengers aboard. This does not equal sold out flight. FA’s are given a list of passenger names with a total number of passengers booked. It is procedure to do a head count before take-off. So if the manifest showed 15 people and 16 passengers boarded a red flag goes up.

    • Jawaka says:

      I doubt it.

      They knew that there was an intruder of some sort because he set off an alarm as he opened the emergency door. There were also witnesses.

      “A witness said Duncan handed his duffel bag to a flight attendant, saying he urgently needed to use the bathroom. He then sat down in a passenger’s seat.”

    • who? says:

      The flight attendants count passengers on every flight. They would know if they have too many or too few.

    • Qntmcat says:

      Follow up concept: If this gentleman hadn’t boarded the plane, but instead passed an explosive device (backpack bomb, perhaps?) to a screened confederate as he “mingled”, then slipped away again, the outcome could have been much different.

      Yet, somehow, TSA spends more money on fallible porno scanners and patdowns I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting from anyone other than a doctor, rather than, say, monitoring the doors.

      Brilliant.

      • Jawaka says:

        “Passengers were told to get off the plane while dogs sniffed their bags for explosives. They were screened by security a second time before being cleared and then taking off.”

        • Qntmcat says:

          And? The point I was making was that, had the person in question not showed up as an extra “head count” on the plane, they would not have performed the re-screen. Same person could have passed a “bad” item to another passenger, and then rather than getting on the plane, hid out or found a similarly unguarded exit point. “Bad” item makes it on the plane by way of a passenger who was screened, FAs don’t have a reason to be suspicious, etc.

  11. Markitect says:

    “Attendants realized there were too many people onboard, and were able to identify the extra person, ‘as he looked disheveled and suspicious’…” PROFILING WIN!!

  12. Reading Rainbow says:

    So the only reason he was caught is that the flight was sold out? Great…

    • stevenpdx says:

      Not necessarily. The flight attendant’s passenger count didn’t match the flight manifest. There was one more person on the plane than should have been. We don’t know if the flight was sold out or only had 8 passengers on it.

  13. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    How did he get on board without a boarding pass?

    • who? says:

      At the San Diego commuter terminal, there’s no jetway. It’s one of those small airports where everyone troops across the tarmac in a little group, then walks up the stairs to board the plane. It would be relatively easy for him to slip into one of those groups on the tarmac, especially if there’s multiple planes loading or unloading at the time.

  14. Blueskylaw says:

    “Man Manages To Board Flight Without A Ticket After Leaving Prison”

    Seems like someone was honing their skills during their days off.

  15. axolotl says:

    The ironic part was it was actually a prison plane heading to Prisonville, USA.

  16. dush says:

    More proof the TSA is useless. TSA only checks the people who are getting in line and actually following procedures.

  17. Sean says:

    Speaking of proofreading. In the article at one point the idiot is referred to as “the Duncan”. It is not just Consumerist that makes these mistakes. Local news stations do it too.

  18. guspaz says:

    This would be a great time to link that “No ticket” Indiana Jones clip, if only youtube wasn’t blocked at work…