9-year-old Minn. boy runs away to Las Vegas on plane

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WVLT/CBS) -- A 9-year-old Minneapolis boy was able to get through security and onto a plane at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport without a ticket, an airport spokesman said Sunday.

Security officials screened the boy at airport shortly after 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan said. The boy then boarded a Delta flight that left for Las Vegas at 11:15 a.m.

The flight crew became suspicious and contacted Las Vegas police, who met the crew upon landing and transferred the boy to child protection services, Hogan said.

Video also shows the boy at the airport Wednesday, Hogan said. He grabbed a bag from the carousel and ordered lunch at a restaurant outside of the security checkpoints, Hogan said. He ate and then told the server he had to use the bathroom, left the bag and never returned to pay. The owner of the bag was identified, and the bag was returned to him, Hogan said.

Delta and the Transportation Security Agency said in separate statements that they were investigating.

The boy was expected to return to the Twin Cities, but Hogan didn't know Sunday if that had happened yet.

A spokesperson with the Transportation Security Agency told WCCO-TV in Minneapolis that staffing is currently low due to the number of employees furloughed in the wake of the federal government shutdown.

"We're investigating ... and looking into our part to see what occurred and what didn't occur," said the TSA spokesperson.


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