Every since 9/11, airport security has been a prominent issue, and with good reason. No one wants to see a repeat of what happened that day, and ever since security has been beefed up to the point where getting through airport security can become somewhat of an ordeal for a lot of people. Airports and airlines have implemented a number of policy changes aimed at making sure that an airplane can never again be hijacked, but what does it say about security when a random senior citizen can routinely stowaway on flights? Especially when she is already well known to authorities.
Sixty-six-year-old Marilyn Jean Hartman was recently arrested at London, England's Heathrow Airport after she stowed away on an international flight originating out of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
She was arrested and immediately sent back to the U.S., but this is only the latest instance in a history of illegally boarding flights for the senior citizen. She has successfully managed to make it to her destinations several times, and has also been arrested in airports during her brazen attempts.
The first time she was caught, she was arrested trying to hop a flight to Hawaii in 2014. Later that same year, she managed to catch a flight to Los Angeles from an airport in San Jose. She also took a flight to Florida in 2015 after jumping on a plane in Minnesota.
Hartman was sent to jail in 2015 after being caught trying to sneak through airport security at both of Chicago's major airports. In 2016 a judge sentenced her to an additional six months in a mental health facility. Coincidentally it was the same facility that she was already a resident at.
After her recent international flight, the Transportation Security Administration is investigating how she managed to accomplish this. “During the initial investigation it was determined that the passenger was screened at the security checkpoint before boarding a flight. Upon learning of the incident, TSA, and its aviation partners, took immediate action to review security practices throughout the airport,” the TSA said in a released statement.
It is clear that Hartman is suffering from a variety of mental health issues, and has in the past even claimed that a variety of people and organizations, including former president Barack Obama, are conspiring against her.
So much for tight security at our airports.