WASHINGTON (AP) - A Nigerian man boarded a Virgin America
airplane last week with an invalid boarding pass - making it
through a federal security checkpoint where travelers must show
identification and their boarding passes.
After the man, Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi, got through security,
the airline let him onto the plane even though his boarding pass
was for a flight the day before, according to the FBI.
The identification check at airport security checkpoints was put
in place as one of many new security measures after the 9/11
attacks. These federal document checkers have basic fraudulent
Mid-flight from New York to Los Angeles, a flight attendant
noticed Noibi was sitting in a seat that was supposed to be vacant.
Noibi showed the attendant the expired boarding pass that was in
someone else's name, and then showed him a University of Michigan
identification card with his picture on it.
University of Michigan spokeswoman Kelly Cunningham said that
Noibi is not a current student, but was enrolled as an engineering
student at the Ann Arbor university between 2004 and 2006.
The boarding pass belonged to a man who said his boarding pass
went missing from his pocket on his way to the airport June 23.
Noibi boarded the plane with the expired pass the next day.
Noibi was arrested Wednesday when law enforcement officials saw
him trying to board another flight and discovered he had more than
10 other expired boarding passes belonging to others in his bag.
Noibi has been charged with being a stowaway.
Los Angeles FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says that when the
Virgin America flight crew determined the man had an invalid
boarding pass, law enforcement was notified and was asked to meet
the plane on arrival early Saturday at Los Angeles International
There was no immediate threat to the aircraft so the flight
wasn't diverted, Eimiller said.
FBI Agent Kevin R. Hogg met the flight and detained and
questioned Noibi. "He wasn't arrested at that time. Beyond
traveling without a ticket there was no immediate threat,"
"He wasn't actually charged and arrested until yesterday
morning (Wednesday). A U.S. District Court hearing Wednesday was
postponed until Friday at 10:30 a.m. PDT. He's still in custody
pending that hearing," Eimiller added.
"Every passenger that passes through security checkpoints is
subject to many layers of security including thorough physical
screening at the checkpoint," Transportation Security
Administration spokesman Greg Soule said. "TSA's review of this
matter indicates that the passenger went through screening." TSA
would not comment on what else happened, citing an ongoing FBI
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)