- A 66-year-old woman was caught after flying from Chicago to London without a ticket.
- She has been caught trying to board flights without tickets over ten times.
- She faces felony theft and misdemeanour trespass charges.
Airport security is difficult to navigate when you have a ticket, but 66-year-old Marilyn Hartman managed to sneak onto an international flight from Chicago to London without one on January 15. She faces felony theft and misdemeanour trespass charges for her actions, according to the Chicago Tribune.
This is not the first time Hartman has tried to fly without a ticket. She was caught trying to sneak onto flights at least ten times in 2014 and 2015, eventually spending a year in jail, the New York Post reports, and said she “may have” boarded a plane without buying a ticket eight times during an interview with NBC Channel 5 in December 2015. Prosecutors in Cook County, Illinois, called Hartman a “serial stowaway” in a 2015 court filing.
This time, she used a number of tricks to avoid detection. She allegedly began by hiding her face with her hair to sneak past two TSA agents who were monitoring a security line at O’Hare International Airport. Once she got past security, Hartman attempted to board a plane to Connecticut, but she was told to sit down after trying to move around another passenger waiting in line, the Tribune reports.
She then allegedly took a shuttle bus to O’Hare’s International Terminal and spent the night there before managing to get past both British Airways ticket agents and a Customs and Border Patrol officer before making her way onto a London-bound plane. Hartman then hid in one of the plane’s bathrooms before finding an empty seat, according to the Post.
Once the plane reached London’s Heathrow Airport, Hartman was allegedly caught by a Customs agent who realised she didn’t have a passport.
TSA is investigating the incident, according to the Post. The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.