Nine-year-old boy sneaks on flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas


By Noreen O'Donnell

Oct 6 (Reuters) - A 9-year-old boy passed through securityat the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport and flew on aDelta Air Lines plane to Las Vegas without a boarding pass,authorities said on Sunday.

It was not immediately clear why the child sneaked onto theflight on Thursday, but his action raised questions aboutairport and airline security.

"The story has a good ending because at least the flightcrew took the appropriate actions and the child was returnedsafely," said Pat Hogan, a Minneapolis airport spokesman."Obviously the concern is how the child was able to go throughthe security screening process and board an airplane in thefirst place."

The boy was screened at one of the airport's checkpointsshortly after 10:30 a.m. CDT on Thursday and got on the Delta flight to Las Vegas at 11:15 a.m. CDT.

Crew members became suspicious of him during the flight andcontacted the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Hogansaid. Officers took him into custody when the plane landed.

Delta spokeswoman Leslie Scott declined to comment beyondsaying that the matter was under investigation. She declined tosay why the crew became uneasy about the boy.

The Transportation Security Administration would say onlythat the boy was screened along with other passengers "to ensurethat he was not a threat to the aircraft."

Security video shows the boy was at the airport on Wednesdayas well, Hogan said.

The child, who is from Minneapolis, arrived on the lightrail train that runs from the city's downtown, took a bag from aluggage carousel, and brought it to a restaurant in the areabefore the security checkpoints.

"He ordered lunch and ate it and then he told the wait staffthat he had to use the restroom," Hogan said. "So he left thebag there, left the restaurant and never came back to pay."

The bag was returned to its owner.

Hogan said that he believed the child was back at home inMinneapolis with his family.

"It's really unclear why he was going to Las Vegas," hesaid.

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