LAS VEGAS -- "Despite numerous checkpoints and gate agents, officials at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport say a 9-year-old was somehow able to sneak through security and onto a Delta flight headed to Las Vegas."
That's the report from Minneapolis-St. Paul TV station KARE 11, which says the "security mishap" came Thursday when the boy sneaked into the airport and onto Delta Flight 1651 to Las Vegas.
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Pat Hogan, spokesperson for the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), confirmed the incident to KARE, but says it wasn't the result of an airport shortcoming.
"At this point, this is a Delta and TSA issue," Hogan tells KARE. "This is a rare incident."
MSP officials say they've reviewed security footage and at this point do not believe he was carrying a boarding pass.
In a statement to KARE, Delta says: "We are investigating the incident and cooperating with the agencies involved."
KARE says TSA authorities "released a similar statement."
The boy is believed to be a runaway from the Twin Cities area, according to KARE's report. And it apparently wasn't the boy's first misadventure at the airport.
"MSP officials say he took someone's luggage off a carousel (on Wednesday), ordered food at a pre-security restaurant, asked the server to watch his luggage while he went to the restroom, but never returned," KARE says in its report.
Terry Trippler, an air travel expert with ThePlaneRules.com, tells KARE that it shouldn't have been easy for the boy to make it the whole through the airport and onto the flight as a stowaway.
"He had to pass three levels of security," Trippler says. "You have the TSA, the gate agents, and the flight crew and a child comes through without even a seat assignment."
He says such cases are rare, but adds that "while we are safer in the air (especially since 9/11), this proves there are still gaping holes."