Stowaway sneaks through security at Mineta San Jose Airport, onto LA-bound plane

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A Northern California woman arrested six times for trying to sneak onto flights managed to fly from San Jose to Los Angeles Monday without a ticket. (KABC)

A Northern California woman who has repeatedly tried sneaking onboard airline flights without a ticket or boarding pass pleaded no contest to her latest stowaway attempt in a Los Angeles court on Wednesday.

The judge sentenced Marilyn Jean Hartman, 62, to three days of time served in jail and two years of probation for bypassing two checkpoints at Mineta San Jose International Airport and boarding a plane to Los Angeles. Hartman was ordered to stay away from Los Angeles International Airport unless she has a valid airline ticket.

She told Eyewitness News that she was sorry for her actions and doesn't have any plans to do it again.

"I certainly don't want to do it again, because I certainly don't want to do any jail time," Hartman said.

On Monday, Hartman boarded the Southwest Airlines flight unnoticed until the plane was in the air and an attendant realized there was a discrepancy in its passengers after a headcount.

She was immediately arrested once the plane landed at Los Angeles International Airport Monday night.

The incident was at least her seventh attempt to sneak onto planes, most of which have occurred at San Francisco International Airport, where she is banned.

Hartman was placed on probation in February after being arrested for attempting to board three Hawaii-bound flights departing on three separate days. Fortunately, she was caught before the planes took off.

She was also arrested on March 18, March 26, and April 7. Upon her latest arrest, the 62-year-old told officials she is lonely, and has been trying to get on a flight to Hawaii.

In May, Hartman was determined to be suffering from a mental illness and deemed a suitable candidate for a residential mental health program, prosecutors said. It was not known what treatment, if any, she completed.

At her Wednesday sentencing, Hartman's public defender described her as homeless with no source of income.

TSA said the public was not in any danger because Hartman had gone through the security screening.

"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," Nico Melendez of the Transportation Security administration said.

Southwest Airlines said it's working with authorities and conducting its own internal investigation into the incident.

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office also filed one misdemeanor charge of violating a city code that prohibits stowaway entry into L.A. The charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The Associated Press and CNS contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
travel southwest airlines airport security security breach department of homeland security air travel Los Angeles Northern California
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