Boy, 9, Sneaks On A Plane to Texas

How did a 9 year old boy get from Washington state to San Antonio, TX? By sneaking onto two Southwest Airlines flights.

    Police in Lakewood, Washington, say the boy (Semaj Booker) has a history of stealing cars and running away from home. He was apparently trying to get to Dallas, where his grandfather lives, and where the boy himself used to live. But he came up short, only getting as far as San Antonio after hopping two separate flights.

    Police say he apparently found a Southwest Airlines boarding card and made it through airport security.

We don’t know about you, but we were not this savvy when we were 9. History of stealing cars? How do you have a history of anything when you are 9? Anyway, way to go airport security.—MEGHANN MARCO

Boy, 9, sneaks on to plane [Tampa 10]


Edit Your Comment

  1. acambras says:

    HA! Not just one, but TWO flights! Sounds like a resourceful young man.

  2. Matthew says:

    I have had it with these motherf***ing sneaks on this motherf***ing plane!

  3. FoolsRun says:

    Matthew beat me to the joke. Damn you, Matthew!

  4. WindowSeat says:

    Clearly, the only thing we can do is ban anyone under 18 from air travel. Heckuva job TSA!

  5. Youthier says:

    WindowSeat, I think I would actually get behind that TSA ban.

  6. VA_White says:

    My son is nine and flies alone every school break to visit his grandparents. We always send him on Southwest because they seemed to have their crap together when it comes to handling Unaccompanied Minors.

    How in the world did this kid get past the gate without a card identifying him as a UM? Did he just glom onto another family and pretend he was with a parent? Why didn’t the gate agent stop a kid flying alone and ask to see his UM card? As a mom, this kind of thing scares the crap out of me.

  7. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    So…what if this was a 9 year old terrorist? 9 year olds can just sneak onto planes undetected?

  8. WindowSeat says:


    I’m half joking about banning kids from flights, but its more a lack of parental control than the kid’s faults. I really want to congratulate you on letting your son fly UM though. I went to a boarding school in Southern California whan I was a kid and flew home to San Francisco two or three times a month by myself at about the same age and its one of my favorite childhood memories. The boarding school, not so much.

  9. The Unicorn says:

    The best part of the article is the last line: “[His mother] thinks he learned how to drive from playing video games.”

    As though video games are somehow responsible for the fact that this kid has managed to steal and crash three cars, then sneak on a plane to Texas.

    Obviously I don’t know what the family’s situation is, but it certainly seems like he could use a bit more discipline — or at least supervision — from some kind of role model.

  10. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    As though video games are somehow responsible for the fact that this kid has managed to steal and crash three cars, then sneak on a plane to Texas.

    Perhaps he snuck on the plane under a cardboard box…

  11. Pelagius says:

    Thank god he wasn’t carrying any liquids!

  12. DougDascenzo says:

    How did he get to the airport in the first place? Was that part of his history of stealing cars?

  13. bfwebster says:

    Y’know, “Sleepless in Seattle” is probably my second all-time-favorite romantic movie, but I never could quite buy having Tom Hanks’ young son manage to fly by himself from Seattle to New York City (and this was in pre-9/11 and even pre-Unabomber days).

    Now I’ll have to rethink that. ..bruce..

  14. Perhaps he snuck on the plane under a cardboard box…

    You win!

  15. phrygian says:

    Am I the only one who saw “Semaj” and thought this was a joke?

    That said, I do wonder how no-one caught/cared that he was an UM…

  16. lookzgood2me says:

    Little bastard’s probably going to have a book and movie deal by next week.

  17. acambras says:


    I guess “Semaj” is “James” spelled backwards. Maybe he’s named after someone named James, but with a twist.

  18. Schmanz says:

    The kid is a piker. My brother stole a car when he was seven.

    He turned out okay, he’s a network admin now….

  19. ElPresidente408 says:

    Does this mean children will have to be checked in with my oversized luggage?

  20. LeopardSeal says:

    Nice one, AlteredBeast. I wonder how many got that reference.

  21. Tim Matheson says:

    In the meantime I am getting pulled to the side, my bag swabbed, shook down, shoes x-rayed and this kid just walks past them. Oh the irony. I took a bath tub spa thing with me on my last flight from Omaha to Milwaukee and they had to swab the bag because all the hoses and stuff in there. Looked like an obscure vacuum cleaner.

  22. Tim Matheson says:

    Theres mutha **** MINORS on this mutha **** plane.