Airline stowaway arrested again at LA airport

A 62-year-old woman who was caught after stowing away on a flight from San Jose to Los Angeles earlier this week was arrested on Thursday after attempting to sneak into the L.A. airport again, The Associated Press reports

The woman, Marilyn Jean Hartman, was charged with violating the probation she was sentenced to after the earlier San Jose airport incident.

Hartman had pledged not to try to sneak onto airplanes after her first arrest, according to the report

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“It was stupid, and it is something I don't want to repeat," she said, according to the AP. 

Hartman’s successful attempt to board a flight without paying has raised questions about the security of the San Jose airport, which also had a 15-year-old boy sneak onto a flight earlier this year. 

“Passenger safety in the sky relies upon effective security on the ground,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), who represents the area around the San Jose airport, said in a statement after Hartman’s first arrest.  

“That means only a screened and ticketed passenger should ever be able to board an airplane,” he continued.   

Swalwell said the incident involving Hartman “was an apparent failure by both airport security and the airline of protecting passengers from a potential threat to their safety.  

“Fortunately, this ticketless passenger was harmless,” he said. “However, we may not be as lucky next time and must do everything possible to protect the traveling public.”

TSA officials defended its San Jose employees’ treatment of Hartman during her initial stowaway attempt, even though she was successfully able to board a flight to Los Angeles without paying. 

“The individual was screened along with all other passengers to ensure that she was not a security threat to the aircraft,” the agency said in a statement that was obtained by The Hill.

However, the agency said it has made changes to the layout of its San Jose checkpoint after the incident. 

“Following an initial review by TSA at San Jose International Airport, the agency has initiated minor modifications to the layout of the document checking area to prevent another incident like this one,” the TSA said.