“Serial Stowaway” Marilyn Hartman Arrested Again

Filed Under: Security/TSA

The most prolific airline stowaway in the world has been arrested yet again this week, after she attempted to visit Chicago O’Hare Airport.

Background on Marilyn Hartman

I first started writing about Marilyn Hartman in 2014. She has become known as the “serial stowaway,” given that she has been found trespassing at airports dozens of times over the years, and prior to this week she had been arrested a total of 21 times for this.

Perhaps most surprising is how successful she has been with her attempts to get onto planes, as she has typically been able to bypass security without a ticket, and has even managed to board flights without a ticket. In one case she even managed to take a British Airways flight from Chicago to London without a ticket — she was sent back when she arrived in London, given that she didn’t have a passport.

We hadn’t heard much about Hartman in the past couple of years, which is because she had been in custody for well over a year following the above British Airways incident, as she claims she got a “real tough judge” on the case.

Hartman has been diagnosed as being bipolar, though it’s something that she rejects. Many years back there was an element to her story that almost seemed cute, and some wondered if she just had a case of wanderlust. But unfortunately the story is ultimately just sad — it’s clear she has some sort of issues, and isn’t getting much support from loves ones or the system.

Here’s a fascinating phone interview with Hartman from late 2019, which I think paints a different picture of her behavior than one might expect:

Marilyn Hartman caught again at O’Hare

Hartman’s latest incident happened on Tuesday, when she was arrested for attempting to access Chicago O’Hare Airport. She’s currently staying in a facility while on electronic monitoring, and isn’t allowed to travel to any airports. As she neared Chicago O’Hare Terminal 1 the alarm on her monitoring device was activated, and at that point she was arrested for the 22nd time.

The 69 year old’s arrest came two weeks after a judge rejected a plea deal that would have given her probation for a previous stowaway attempt. Hartman is now being held on trespassing charges, as the Cook County Sheriff’s Office will seek a felony escape charge for her.

Bottom line

While we hadn’t heard much about Hartman for a while, she was arrested for the 22nd time this past week, when she tried to enter Chicago O’Hare Airport while on electronic monitoring. I hope Hartman gets the help she needs, whatever that might be…

  1. Kind of click-baitish…she didn’t even get to enter the airport. What they’re doing actually is working.

  2. Too bad she can’t freelance and have security at different airports hire her. I bet she would always find a flaw somewhere.

  3. 22 times! Wow also seems like she is pretty successful some of the times. Somebody needs to hire her to airport security systems.

  4. Agree with Pete above. But the big question is: Where is the story about John Kerry being busted for not wearing a mask?

  5. Stop giving yet more publicity to idiots who misbehave. That’s what drives their behavior.

  6. Gives a new meaning to “wanderlust”…very sad as she is homeless with a mental illness, so temper that with some of the snarky comments above and have some compassion.

  7. Lock her up. She is a serial criminal who will never learn right from wrong. The rule of law applies to everyone.

  8. I’m all about personal responsibility and limited government, but Mrs. Hartman is clearly a case of needed compassion and mental care. I mean, is there anyone here that would classify her as a evil, leech, or such?…

  9. She might be breaking laws, but she’s harmless. As someone mentioned she should be hired to test security arrangements. My trust in the TSA remains very low.

  10. Ms. Marilyn Hartman’s expertise is suited for ‘Catch Me If You Can’ airport employment if she could refrain from trying to jet to Copenhagen on her lunch break.
    Hopefully she’s not being exploited rather than helped.

  11. I wish she had more than 2 minutes to tell her story.

    She says she doesn’t suffer from mental illness — so how does she explain her actions?

  12. Let’s suppose she had an unlimited pass that would allow her to fly anywhere at any time. Would she like that? Or does she get her enjoyment from outwitting security? That’s the question I’m most curious about. And if she did have that magic ticket, how long would it take for her to get tired of it?

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