Delta Airlines flight delayed in Atlanta after woman got onboard without a ticket or ID and refused to give up her seat
TSA and the FBI are working with Delta Airlines as they investigate the Saturday incident, wherein the woman got inside the airport and and plane without valid documentation
An apparent stowaway in a Delta flight in Orlando had to be removed by authorities after she boarded the plane without showing a valid ticket or ID and refused to give up her seat when the assigned passenger turned up. A legitimate passenger on the plane, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the unidentified woman created a ruckus when asked by flight crew to give up her seat to its rightful purchaser on Flight 1516 headed for Atlanta, Fox News reports.
According to the report, the flight was due to take off from Orlando Internationa Airport on Saturday when the commotion resulted in a major delay. Authorities reported how it took almost 45 minutes to get the said woman to exit the aircraft.
"I also had a boarding pass for that seat, and she said very bluntly, 'I'm not moving,'" seat 15A's assigned passenger told WFTV.
When the defiant woman refused to comply, a flight attendant came over and asked her to move as well, later realizing the accused stowaway wasn't listed on the flight manifest at all. The woman is heard in cellphone audio recordings from the incident telling flight personnel she had mistakenly thrown away her boarding pass before getting on the plane. Furthermore, the woman showed them a photo of herself on her phone when asked for identification.
"Well, I'm showing you a picture ID," the woman told the flight attendant.
"Ma'am, that's not a government-issued ID. That's a photo," the stewardess responded.
"Well, this is just as good," the unverified passenger retorted.
"No, ma'am, it's not just as good," the flight attendant clarified.
The plane's pilot was forced to call Orlando Police sometime later.
"They eventually told her, 'You're breaking federal law,'" the verified passenger told WFTV.
The woman left cursing, leaving passengers confused and concerned, with TSA telling Channel 9 that the woman was screened without providing any additional information.
The plane was eventually given the all clear and made it to Atlanta.
That said, the Transportation Security Administration and the FBI are working with Delta Airlines as they investigate the Saturday incident. Following the episode, the airline issued a statement of apology regarding the incident.
"How she got in that airport and how she got on that airplane is extremely concerning," the anonymous passenger added.