Theresa Braine, New York Daily News
A woman made it all the way to her seat on Delta Flight 1516 from Orlando to Atlanta – only it wasn’t her seat.
She had no seat. In fact, she didn’t even have a boarding pass. Or a ticket, for that matter.
Delta airlines and Transportation Security Administration officials are investigating how a woman without a ticket or a boarding pass managed to get onto a flight.
If she hadn’t been called out by the passenger who was actually supposed to be in the seat she sat in, the plane might have continued from Orlando to Atlanta.
It all started when a passenger traveling on that flight told a flight attendant that a woman was in her seat, refusing to move, reported WFTV-TV, the Orlando ABC affiliate.
“I also had a boarding pass for that seat,” she said, according to WFTV. “I’m not moving.”
A supervisor and a pilot joined the gathering, trying to convince the woman to get off the plane, or prove that she was ticketed. She told them she had thrown out her boarding pass when she got onto the plane, and when they asked for ID, all she could show them was a photo of herself on her phone.
“She just kept saying, ‘I don’t drive. My I.D. is home in Atlanta,’ and, ‘I don’t have an I.D. to show you,’ ” a passenger told WSB-TV of Atlanta. “They kept asking for her boarding pass, and she kept saying, ‘I threw it out.’ Well, where did you throw it out? Because we’ve checked the garbage cans, and they’re empty.”
According to the attendant, the woman was not listed on the manifest.
After repeatedly refusing to move or supply valid I.D., the woman had to be escorted off the plane by police. It took 45 minutes to get her off the plane. She left cursing.
A passenger told WFTV that the plane had already started taxiing and was partway down the runway by the time the error was noted. The entire plane was emptied, everyone was rescreened, and the plane was hours late, reported ABC News.
The incident caused an hours-long delay, for which Delta apologized.
“Delta apologizes to customers of flight 1516 for the delay after a person not ticketed for that flight was removed from the aircraft,” the airline said, according to WFTV. “Security officials then directed precautionary rescreen of everyone onboard. Delta is working with local law enforcement and the Transportation Security Administration on their investigation and we are conducting our own review of this as well.”
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