Flight Attendant Flees LAX After Being Caught With 60 Pounds Of Cocaine

Filed Under: Media

Authorities are looking for a flight attendant who fled LAX Friday night, leaving behind 60 pounds of cocaine and Gucci shoes (as one does).

Flight attendants and pilots can become Known Crewmembers, where they don’t have to go through normal security screening to enter the secure area. Instead they just enter through the typical TSA exit, and have to present two forms of identification. Of course they can also be subjected to extra screening, either randomly or because of suspicious behavior.

Known Crewmember checkpoint (photo credit: ALPA)

That’s exactly what happened at LAX Terminal 4 this past Friday night, as a flight attendant was about to take American flight 28 from Los Angeles to New York. Per NBC News:

Flight attendants and other crew members are not normally subjected to searches. But the suspect was pulled aside by Transportation Security Administration officers for a random screening in Terminal 4, the sources said.

The woman, who was not identified, appeared nervous and made a cellphone call in a language not recognized by officers, authorities told NBC News. She was then taken aside to a secondary screening area and asked for her employee identification.

Suddenly, she bolted from the screening location, running with her bags toward an escalator, authorities said. She jettisoned the luggage and her designer shoes and fled the terminal.

I’m not sure what exactly is suspicious about making a phone call in a language a TSA agent didn’t recognize (presumably anything other than English or Spanish), but the rest of it does seem a bit strange, like the flight attendant having two rollaboards.

It seems she didn’t think that through so well, since that is more than usual, and presumably would make the TSA more suspicious. While plenty of flight attendants have one rollaboard and then a few bags strapped onto it, two rollaboards seems unusual (though perfectly logical if you’re trying to transport 60 pounds of cocaine without breaking a sweat).

I also assume that authorities have info about her identity, given that she had to present ID to get through the checkpoint.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see flight attendants trying to smuggle on an international flight (where there’s presumably at least a lot of money in it for the person doing the carrying — maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of “Locked Up Abroad”), but 60 pounds of cocaine on a domestic flight? Sheesh!

There’s video footage of the incident, though it hasn’t been released to the public yet.

Here’s to hoping they find the flight attendant and make the video public!

  1. Can you believe the nerve of some people trying to smuggle contraband Gucci shoes on board a plane?

  2. Makes one question AA’s screening policies in having someone like this working for them. Hate to think that something more serious than cocaine could get through and onto a flight. Maybe crews should be going through security, like the rest of us.

  3. This tale makes me think of the Russian plane bombing. What’s stopping a disgruntled worker or any “known crew member” from smuggling a bomb on board and bringing down a fully loaded plane?

  4. Clearly decided she wasn’t happy Parker didn’t give FA profit sharing. Decided to create her own.

  5. The gucci shoes
    are they heeled or flats
    Do we have a photo of them?
    And most importantly what size??

  6. Everyone should have to pass through some sort of screening! Sorry but employee status does not cut it for me!
    American Airlines wow you have some soul searching to do!
    TSA WTF?

  7. How in the world is the flight attendant able to run off and not be caught by TSA/airport security? …Wait, maybe I just answered my own question.

  8. Flight crews should be going through the same security as anyone else. Next time it may be something worse than drugs.

  9. I am shocked that crew members are not going through security and luggage x-ray! I wasn’t aware of that.

    Makes total sense that they would have their own separate checkpoint without queuing and some privacy from passengers, but no security at all? That’s terrible if you consider how easy it is to become a FA.

  10. KCM started with just pilots at the start with part (though not all) of the logic being that if a pilot wanted to take an airplane down, he wouldn’t need anything but his hands to do it. It was background checks that are the most effective for them. What the extent of F/A checks are, I have no idea. Maybe theirs aren’t as thorough.

  11. This is an isolated case. The are criminals is every line of work. I am a flight attendant and I have never thought about transporting drugs in my 19 year flying career. She was a criminal before she became a flight attendant.

  12. It is not as easy as many of you may think it is to become a flight attendant. Training is very hard and you have a back ground check. Many are sent home. You are cramming a lot in a short time. Learning the safely aspect, every aircraft in the fleet and so on and so on. Regardless of what you may think we’re not taught to be pretty, flirt and to serve peanuts and a Coke!

  13. Mission creep.

    Cocaine on the plane does NOT represent a security threat…unless the crew is partaking in it. FAs shouldn’t be smuggling things, but the extra cargo wouldn’t worry me. I already assume that similar shenanigans are going on with some of the international flights I’m on, although it’s usually ground crews and phantom luggage.

  14. I am equal parts shocked & amused that she was able to get away. I mean, sure, she’ll probably / possibly be caught later cos the authorities know who she is, but … seriously? She bolted and ran and NOT A SINGLE ONE of the TSA guys/gals there could catch up with her?

  15. “Regardless of what you may think we’re not taught to be pretty, flirt and to serve peanuts and a Coke!”

    This is why I avoid the American carriers and fly with the Asian airlines, who’s F/A’s ARE taught to be pretty, to flirt and to serve peanuts and Coke (the drinking kind of course). 😀

  16. Narcos!!!!!! You should watch that series and see how they used pilots and other crew members to smuggle drugs from Colombia into Miami back in the 80’s. As for the language she was speaking on the phone you were spot on. I always speak a foreign language with my wife and kids and many times we were approached by clueless people guessing what language we are speaking.

  17. She has done this before..No way would those behind it would trust her with 2 million in cocaine as a first time mule…I bet this is more common than you think..Why do you think she could afford Gucci shoes.?

  18. All the TSA security theater is totally worthless when an employee can just stroll past security without being searched. Just imagine how much contraband moves through airports each day. But, hey, whatever makes people feel safer I guess.

  19. She has Been Doing This For Sometime Now, someone tipped them off. This is a real situation here.

  20. Yes I think she was doing this for years , I was told she got 4 houses in Jamaica W.I. and 2 in Queens she should spend the rest of ge life in jail she is more than a crooked .

    I think her parents know what was going on , the people that go to her father churvh should go back for their collection and stop arguing .

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