ORLANDO — Passengers on a Delta flight from Orlando to Atlanta on Saturday told Channel 2 Action News that a woman managed to get on the plane with no ticket and no identification.
She was eventually escorted off the plane.
Channel 2's Christian Jennings talked to a ticketed passenger who said that when she got on the plane, another woman was sitting in her seat.
"She just said very bluntly, 'I'm not moving,'" said the passenger, who didn't want to be identified.
The ticketed passenger said that when the flight attendant asked for the woman's boarding pass and identification, the woman couldn't provide them.
In an audio recording of the incident, the woman tells a Delta employee she did have the proper I.D.
"I need a government-issued I.D.," the Delta employee said on the recording.
"Ok, well I'm showing the picture I.D. That's just as good," the woman argued.
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"She just kept saying, 'I don't drive. My I.D. is home in Atlanta,' and 'I don't have an I.D. to show you,'" the passenger said. "They kept asking for her boarding pass, and she kept saying, 'I threw it out.' Well, where did you throw it out? Because we've checked the garbage cans, and they're empty."
Jennings got a statement from Orlando police, who confirmed the woman was unable to produce a boarding pass or I.D:
Passengers told Jennings it took at least 45 minutes to get the woman to leave.
The woman was eventually escorted off the plane by Delta employees.
The passenger told Jennings once she was gone, they began to take off down the runway but then the plane stopped.
"We turned around and got off the airplane. Armed agents showed up with K-9 units and they swept the plane," the passenger said.
She said authorities checked every passenger and their luggage before reboarding. The flight was delayed for hours but finally landed in Atlanta.
Delta issued a statement apologizing to passengers for the delay.
Delta apologizes to customers of flight 1516 for the delay after a person not ticketed for that flight was removed from the aircraft. Security officials then directed precautionary rescreen of everyone onboard. Delta is working with local law enforcement and the Transportation Security Administration on their investigation and we are conducting our own review of this as well.
The Transportation Security Administration sent Jennings a statement only confirming that the woman was screened, and they are working with law enforcement to investigate. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also looking into the incident.
"It was really scary, now that I look back on it," the passenger said. "I want to know what her intentions were, because it just shouldn't have happened."
Cox Media Group