CHICAGO (CBS) — Investigators in California were looking into how a former Chicago resident managed to board and stow away on a commercial airliner earlier this week.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, since leaving Chicago more than a decade ago, 62-year-old Marilyn Jean Hartman reportedly has been homeless, and bouncing around several West Coast cities.
Hartman said she’s a retired secretary without even five dollars to her name.
This year alone, she’s been arrested six times for trying, but failing, to board flights at San Francisco International Airport without a ticket, and has since been banned from that airport.
On Monday, she made it onto a Southwest Airlines jet at Mineta San Jose International Airport, and was arrested when the plane landed in Los Angeles.
“It was clearly wrong on my part, and I certainly don’t want to do it again, because I certainly don’t want to do any jail time,” she told reporters Thursday after a judge sentenced her to 24 months probation, and three days in jail, which she’d already served.
After pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of trespassing, she said she won’t be doing it again.
“Obviously, they’ll be on the watch for me, so I wouldn’t dare attempt this again. I don’t want to be in that position. I want to go with a paid ticket,” Hartman said.
She wouldn’t say how she got past security screeners and gate agents without a ticket or boarding pass.
A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines said the company is cooperating with the investigation.
“Southwest’s number one priority is the Safety and Security of our Customers and Employees. In addition to investigating internally, Southwest continues to work with all relevant regulatory agencies, including the TSA,” the airline said.
The Transportation Security Administration also released a statement about the incident: “The individual was screened along with all other passengers to ensure that she was not a security threat to the aircraft. 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.”