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How a Stowaway Plane Passenger Got a Free Flight — and Trip to Jail

Texas Man Accused of Taking Photos of Passports to Get on Flight
Source: Unsplash

Texas man tried to board a flight using photos of other people's passports, officials said.

Mar. 27 2024, Published 1:02 p.m. ET

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A man in Texas stands accused of attempting to sneak on board a flight by capturing an image of another passenger's boarding pass. Authorities say his endeavor was thwarted when the flight reached capacity, leaving him without a seat, ultimately leading to his arrest.

Wicliff Yves Fleurizard, hailing from George, Texas, found himself in custody following his attempt to board a Delta Air Lines aircraft bound for Austin, Texas, departing from Salt Lake City, as per federal prosecutors in Utah.

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According to an affidavit filed by a police officer in federal district court, Fleurizard managed to board the aircraft and accessed a storage area designated for emergency equipment. With the assistance of a flight attendant, he made his way to the forward lavatory.

Subsequently, upon the completion of boarding procedures, Fleurizard relocated to a lavatory situated at the rear of the aircraft. Upon emerging from the lavatory, while the aircraft was in the process of taxiing toward the runway, he claimed to a flight attendant that he was assigned to seat 21F.

However, seat 21F was already occupied by a solo female traveler, confirmed by the flight attendant as a legitimate ticketed passenger.

Upon cross-referencing passenger records, Fleurizard's name did not correspond to any reservation for the Austin-bound flight or any other Delta flight, as stated in the affidavit.

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Consequently, the aircraft returned to the gate, where law enforcement officers were awaiting his arrival. Surveillance footage from the boarding area, which can be seen at WLS-TV, revealed Fleurizard covertly photographing several passengers' phones and boarding passes before utilizing his own device as a substitute boarding pass to gain entry onto the plane.

Investigations revealed that Fleurizard had been provided with a buddy pass by a friend for Southwest Airlines. However, due to the prior flights being fully booked, he was rescheduled for a later flight on the same day, according to statements provided by the police officer.

TMX contributed to this report


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