A 9-year-old runaway was able to get through security, board a plane at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport without a ticket and fly to Las Vegas, according to USA Today on Sunday.
Pat Hogan, spokesperson for the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), confirmed the incident to KARE, but says it wasn't the result of an airport shortcoming.
"At this point, this is a Delta and TSA issue," Hogan tells KARE 11. "This is a rare incident."
The security mishap occurred Thursday on Delta Flight 1651. It wasn't until the plane landed in Las Vegas that the boy was stopped and questioned.
Crew members got in touch with authorities and turned the boy over to Child Protective Services in Nevada, Hogan said.
"Fortunately, the flight crew took appropriate actions to ensure the child's safety, so the story does have a good ending," he said.
Delta said it takes the incident "very seriously" and is working with authorities.
Authorities have learned the boy also spent Wednesday at the airport, too. MSP officials say he took someone's luggage off a carousel, ordered food at a pre-security restaurant, asked the server to watch his luggage while he went to the restroom, but never returned.
Airport officials reviewed security footage and don't think the child had a ticket, KARE reported.
Hogan says the boy is returning to the Twin Cities. Las Vegas police, Hennepin County authorities, and the boy's parents are working together.
Kids between the ages of 5 and 14 may travel alone as part of the unaccompanied minor program. Someone from Delta pays special attention to the children, walks them on board, shows them their seats and even introduces them to the cockpit crew, time permitting, Delta says, adding, "kids love this part."
This is not so unusual. In 2007, another 9-year-old managed to fly from Seattle to Phoenix to San Antonio before being found out. He actually had a boarding pass though. His mother told CNN her son gave ticketing agents a fake name.
Last year an 11-year-old boy in Manchester, England, managed toslip away from his mother during a shopping trip. He made it all the way to Rome without a boarding pass or a passport. But any Colosseum dreams were dashed. He never left the airport in Rome and was returned to his parents the same day.
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