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Would-Be Stowaway Took Pictures of Other Tickets to Sneak Onto Flight

by Staff

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767.
Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • A man was arrested after boarding a Delta flight in Utah using a photo of another passenger’s ticket.
  • This is at least the third instance this year of passengers boarding planes without valid tickets.
  • The Texas man faces one felony charge of stowaways on vessels or aircraft.

A man was arrested in Salt Lake City on Sunday after boarding a Delta Air Lines flight without his own ticket. He got on the plane by using a photo of another passenger’s boarding pass, prosecutors say.

Wicliff Yves Fleurizard, a 26-year-old from Texas, is facing one felony charge of stowaways on vessels or aircraft, according to a complaint filed in US District Court in Utah on Monday. If found guilty, Fleurizard could be fined and imprisoned for up to five years, according to US sentencing guidelines.

Surveillance footage shows Fleurizard “taking photos of multiple passenger’s phones and/or boarding passes while they were not looking,” including of a minor girl’s ticket. He got on the flight “using his phone as a boarding pass,” court documents said.

US gate agents typically do not check identification at boarding for domestic flights.

Fleurizard is at least the third known passenger to board a flight in the US and UK without a valid ticket this year.

Last month, a woman ducked security and took an American Airlines flight from Nashville to Los Angeles without a ticket. She was detained by the FBI for questioning but no charges were filed. Earlier in February, a man boarded a plane to Copenhagen without a ticket at London’s Gatwick airport, the second such incident in under two months at London airports. He was removed from the plane before takeoff.

In the recent Salt Lake City incident, Fleurizard boarded the plane and went to the lavatory at the front, where he stayed until the flight doors were secured for takeoff, per the federal complaint. He then made his way to the lavatory at the back of the plane. When he exited the bathroom, a flight attendant noticed that there were no seats available on the plane.

He was caught after giving the attendant a false seat number. Since Fleurizard was not authorized to be on board, the aircraft returned to the boarding gate. He was escorted off the plane and met by law enforcement, per court records.

Fleurizard told officers he was visiting Utah for a snowboarding trip and he needed to get home to see his family. He said he had a Southwest Airlines “buddy pass,” a free or heavily discounted ticket employees can share with friends and family. Fleurizard told the police he had tried to get on two earlier Southwest flights, which were both full.

Fleurizard “admitted he had made a mistake and was only trying to get home,” the complaint said.

Fleurizard did not respond to requests for comment, and his defense attorney has not yet been listed in court documents.

Delta Air Lines told USA Today that it is “cooperating with law enforcement and relevant federal agencies.”

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