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Ticketless passenger found in Delta flight’s lavatory, forcing plane to turn around

A Texas man used a child’s boarding pass to get on a Delta Air Lines flight from Salt Lake City to Austin, Texas before the man was discovered hiding in a bathroom ahead of takeoff, according to court documents.

Salt Lake City Police officers on Sunday arrested Wicliff Fleurizard, 26, a resident of George, Texas, after he was removed from Flight 1683 when a flight attendant found out that he was not a passenger on the plane.

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Fleurizard boarded the plane at Salt Lake City International Airport and stayed in the front lavatory for an extended period of time, according to court documents obtained by USA TODAY. Just before the plane’s departure, Fleurizard exited the front lavatory and entered another one located at the rear of the aircraft. A flight attendant noticed that there were no remaining seats available when he went to the lavatory. The flight attendant approached Fleurizard to verify which seat he had on the plane.

After providing the flight attendant with his seat number and name, it was then confirmed that Fleurizard was not a passenger on the flight. Flight attendants tried to search for Fleurizard’s name to see if he was on that Delta Air Lines flight or any others, but the search came back with no results and the plane was forced to make a U-turn back to the boarding bridge where Salt Lake City police officers were called, the documents said.

Ticketless passenger said he was trying to get home from snowboarding trip

When police officers arrived, they questioned the Delta Air Lines staff and discovered that a minor passenger, who was traveling alone, was having trouble boarding the flight. Security showed Fleurizard taking pictures of many travelers boarding passes without their knowledge, according to court records. When the minor went to scan their boarding pass, a message alerted the Delta agent that, “[this passenger] was already onboard.”

Fleurizard told officers that he was trying to get back home to see his family after his scheduled flight on another airline was booked. Fleurizard said he tried to book another flight the following day but encountered the same issue. Fleurizard admitted his mistake but said he was in Utah for a snowboarding trip and was headed back home, the documents revealed.

SLCPD arrested Fleurizard and brought him to the Salt Lake County Metro Jail, the department told USA TODAY.

Delta Air Lines told USA TODAY that they are, “cooperating with law enforcement and relevant federal agencies” regarding the passenger who was removed from one of their flights on Sunday.

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TSA and FBI are investigating Fleurizard’s journey through the airport

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) told USA TODAY that Fleurizard passed through the airport’s checkpoint with the proper identification and boarding pass information.

“We have looked into this matter and learned that the individual in question was screened without an incident at the security checkpoint at Salt Lake City international Airport on Sunday, March 17 using a photo ID that matched the name on the boarding pass,” the TSA said.

The TSA initiated a federal case review with the assistance of a Salt Lake City police-FBI task force officer, according to police.

Source link : https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2024/03/20/wicliff-fleurizard-delta-airlines-ticketless-passenger/73044352007/

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