Nine-year-old who breached airline security

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frozen fire
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Nine-year-old who breached airline security

Unread post by frozen fire » January 26th, 2007, 9:05 pm

One 9-year-old boy who stunned the airline industry by sneaking onto a jet without a ticket and flying across the country by himself is back in his mother's arms. And she has just one thing to say to him -
"Don't ever, ever do it again!"

The incident that exposed serious flaws in post-9/11 airline security happened last week when Semaj Booker took a bus to the airport in Seattle.

He'd never even been on a plane before, but the resourceful fourth grader scanned the monitors for flights to Texas. Southwest Airlines had the most, and just then, he got lucky. He says Southwest paged a passenger who had lost his boarding pass.

So Semaj walked over to the ticket counter and falsely identified himself as the passenger being paged.

Amazingly, Semaj took the boarding pass and proceeded with confidence through security, where kids aren't required to show identification.

The first leg of the trip took him to Phoenix, but his ultimate destination was Texas, where he has relatives. He also likes the weather there, and told the reporter, "It's always sunny in Texas."

So he stayed on the plane as it took off on its next scheduled stop, San Antonio, Texas. It wasn't until he tried to board a flight to Dallas that Semaj was finally stopped and questioned.

His mom was stunned when she found out her son was in Texas, but part of her was proud.

"It shocked them that a 9-year-old can actually do this," she said.

Southwest Airlines is not amused. In a statement to news the airline said, "This is a highly unusual situation that is still being investigated."

Semaj was held in Girls and Boys Town Juvenile Shelter for 5 days, and authorities have not decided whether to press charges.

It could have been worse. Semaj says he actually considered going to Japan when he spotted flights to Tokyo on the monitor. Apparently he's a fan of the movie, "The Fast and the Furious, Tokyo Drift."

"I thought I was going to go to Tokyo, but it was half way around the world," he said, to which his mother replied, "I don't think you want to go that far."

all this after security upgraded and on full alert after 9-11 and terror plot in englands airport.

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