April 16, 2024

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A Delta passenger boarded a flight using another ticket photo

A Delta passenger boarded a flight using another ticket photo

A Texas man was arrested in Salt Lake City on Sunday after he boarded a Delta Air Lines flight without a ticket using a photo he took of another passenger's boarding pass while he wasn't looking, according to court documents.

The man, Wyclef Yves Florizard, 26, faces one felony count of being a stowaway on ships or aircraft, according to a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Utah. He was being held at the Salt Lake County Metro Jail, according to the Salt Lake City Police Department.

After boarding a Delta flight to Austin, Texas, on Sunday, Mr. Florizard went to the restroom at the front of the plane and remained there until the plane was fully boarded and the doors were secured, according to the federal complaint.

Mr. Florizard then headed toward the back of the plane and entered the restrooms there, according to court records. When he exited, the flight attendant noticed no open seats as the plane was about to taxi to the runway, court records show.

The flight attendant asked Mr. Florizard where his seat was, and he said it was 21F, the seat that had already been reserved, the complaint said. After flight attendants could not find Mr. Florizard on their manifest, they realized he was not authorized to board the plane, and the plane returned to the gate, according to the complaint.

Mr. Florizard told police that he was on a snowboarding trip in Park City, Utah, and needed to get home to see his family, according to the complaint. He said he was given a “buddy pass” from Southwest Airlines by a friend, the complaint states.

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Mr. Florizard told police he tried to board a Southwest flight at 3 p.m. on Saturday, but the flight was full, according to court documents. He said he then tried to return home on a 6 a.m. Southwest flight Sunday, but that flight was also full, according to court documents.

The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday that Mr. Florizard was screened by security at Salt Lake City International Airport on Sunday without any problems, using a photo ID and boarding pass.

Surveillance footage on Sunday showed that Mr. Florizard was taking photos of several passengers' phones in the Delta Air Lines boarding area while they were not looking, according to the complaint. The footage then showed Mr. Florizard using his phone to board the Delta flight.

Mr. Florizard “admitted he made a mistake and was just trying to get home,” the complaint said.

The FBI said on Wednesday that it was investigating the incident, but declined to provide any additional details.

No attorney for Mr. Florizard was listed in court records as of Wednesday afternoon.

Delta Air Lines said in a statement that it is “cooperating with law enforcement and relevant federal agencies regarding the investigation of a non-ticketed individual” on Sunday.

In the past few months, there have been similar cases of passengers boarding flights without a ticket in the United States and abroad.

In February, a woman boarded a flight in Nashville and traveled to Los Angeles without a ticket. In November, a man managed to pass security at Copenhagen Airport in Denmark and headed to Los Angeles International Airport with only Russian and Israeli ID cards in his bag.

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