After Several Attempts, Lady Successfully Sneaks On Plane

In March I wrote about Marilyn Hartman, the Bay Area lady that was caught repeatedly trying to sneak onto flights to Hawaii. She never quite made it onto a plane at the time, though did make it past security.

Over the past several months I’ve seen a few more reports of her trying to sneak onto a plane, though it looks like earlier in the week she was actually successful.

Via SFGate:

Airplane stowaway Marilyn Hartman, who was arrested Monday for sneaking onto a flight from San Jose to Los Angeles, was busted again Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport – a day after her release from jail, airport police said.

Hartman, 62, had been released Wednesday afternoon after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of stowing away. A Los Angeles court commissioner gave her two years probation and ordered her to stay away from LAX unless she had a valid ticket.

On Monday she actually successfully snuck on a flight from San Jose to Los Angeles. Then she was arrested, released, and almost immediately tried to sneak onto a plane yet again:

Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom Wednesday, Hartman had cited her homelessness, which she said drove her to take “desperate measures,” and added that she felt safer in airports than the streets. She swore she would never repeat the move because “I certainly don’t want to do any jail time.”

Hartman said she had $4.25 in “piggy bank change” to her name and was unsure how she would get back to the Bay Area. She said her debit card was stolen Friday, when she would have gotten a Social Security check.

Hartman has no known family, and each time she was taken into custody, she declined to fill out emergency contact information, said Steve Wagstaffe, district attorney of San Mateo County.

It’s really just a sad story, and it’s clear she needs help, though I guess this is where the “system” is broken — she doesn’t seem to have family, and the only place they could refer her was a mental health program for felons, which she apparently didn’t like and walked away from.

But here’s the bigger question — how the hell did she manage to sneak onto a plane? She has tried to do this more than a handful of times before at the same airport, so you’d think they would know who she is by now. How did she get through security, and even more importantly, how did she actually sneak on a plane?

Filed Under: Media
  1. Ben- I thought in an earlier post you said that you were going to give her a free ticket to Hawaii?

  2. @ John — And I stand by that, but doesn’t seem like she has any way of getting in touch with me, or that I have a way of getting in touch with her.

  3. In the Dutch coverage of her attempts, they said she mingled with a (I guess big) family boarding and she was only found because of a headcount during a intermediate stop.

  4. @Lucky

    Ben, I am sure there is a way for you to get in touch with her… plus, if you get her a ticket to Hawaii, it will be all over the media… imagine publicity for your blog… I really think you’re missing a huge opportunity here.
    BTW, are you looking for a publicist/award booker? I am available…

  5. According to the television reporters in the Bay Area, she did go through a portion of TSA security. While the TSA was checking the boarding pass and ID of someone else (maybe a group of people?), she simply walked by and then went through the screening. Then, as noted above, she mingled with a large family to get on the plane. The report is that she tried a couple of times before successfully getting on board.

  6. Ben are you offering to foot her entire bill for a stay in Hawaii? It’s not cheap.

    LOL you might be encouraging a bunch of people to try and sneak on now in hopes of a freebie.

  7. Ben- Just contact some news outlet. A tv station in CA. or CNN or MSNBC. Why don’t you ask Hyatt or SPG to donate some hotel nts. Further I’m sure some of your readers would donate some hotel pts.

  8. Marilyn Hartman’s dilemma is unfortunate but it’s not exactly an accident either. Our continuing lack of practical and compassionate solutions is the result of a long series of decisions we’ve made about who we want to help, how much we want to help them, and how we’re willing to provide that help.

    If you’re curious to learn more you might want to check the link below…

  9. People missing the point. We arent discussing sociopolitical issues.
    We are discussing how the hell can someone get on a plane in the US without tickets when all of us has to be submitted to body cavity search at TSA and im paying thousands $ airport taxes to prevent it soneobe to get into airport wiyhout dicuments.

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