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A nine-year-old boy boarded a plane in Minnesota last week and traveled by himself to Las Vegas – without a ticket.
According to CNN, the Transportation Security Administration, as well as airport officials, are investigating to determine how he managed to get through security.
Once the plane touched down in Nevada, Child Protective Services took care of the boy. Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport, said, "Fortunately, the flight crew took appropriate actions to ensure the child's safety, so the story does have a good ending.”
Delta airlines, with which the boy traveled, has a minor policy that states that children between the ages of 5 and 14 are allowed to travel alone, but a Delta employee will always walk them to their seats on the plane.
US News reports that since the flight was not sold out, employees aboard the plane became suspicious of the boy when they realized his name was not on the list of unattended minors.
Apparently, the boy was at the airport the whole day prior, hanging out near the luggage carousel and eating at one of the airport's restaurants. At one point, he even grabbed a bag from the carousel, brought it to a restaurant and asked someone to watch it for him while he went to the bathroom, never paying for his meal. No one suspected a thing. The next day, the boy returned to the airport, made it through security and boarded the plane.
"It's hard to piece anything together from his stories of why he got on the flight and went to Las Vegas," Hogan said. "Obviously, the fact that the child's actions weren't detected until he was in flight is concerning." But he assured that the incident was in no way a common occurrence for the airline. "I don't know of another instance in my 13 years at the airport in which anything similar has happened," he said.
The boy's family told Minneapolis police that he had run away earlier Thursday.