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9-Year-Old Boy Sneaks Onto A Plane, Flies To Vegas

The boy was alone and without a ticket, but he was able to make his way on to a flight at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

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A 9-year-old boy got through security and onto a Delta Air Lines flight without a ticket Thursday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, officials said Sunday.

The boy, who didn't appear to be holding a boarding pass, passed through a Transportation Security Administration line around 10:30 a.m. Thursday. He then departed on a 11:15 flight to Las Vegas, according to Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan. When the plane landed, the boy was turned over to Child Protective Services.

In a statement, Hogan said the Delta crew "became suspicious of the child's circumstances" during the flight.

"Fortunately, the flight crew took appropriate actions to ensure the child's safety, so the story does have a good ending," Hogan said. He told KARE 11 that this was a "rare incident" and "Delta and TSA issue."

On Sunday, Minnesota's WCCO reported that a TSA spokesperson initially blamed the incident on government shutdown furloughs, which has resulted in low airport staffing.

But later on Sunday, the spokesperson clarified to the news station that all front-line TSA employees were working and that the boy "was screened along with all other passengers to ensure that he was not a threat to the aircraft."

On Wednesday — the day before his flight to Vegas — the boy was seen on airport security footage taking luggage from the claim carousel, ordering and eating lunch, and leaving without taking the bag or paying for his food.

Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Jessica Testa at

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