Published 3:29 PM EDT Oct 7, 2019
Delta Air Lines, Orlando International Airport and the Transportation Security Administration are trying to determine how a woman was able to get through security and board a flight without identification or a boarding pass Saturday.
In a statement to USA TODAY, Delta spokeswoman Morgan Durrant confirmed the incident and said the woman had been removed from the flight.
“Delta apologizes to customers of Flight 1516 for the delay after a person not ticketed for that flight was removed from the aircraft,” Durrant said. “Security officials then directed a 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. Safety and security is always our top priority.”
In an incident report obtained by USA TODAY, Orlando police officer Timothy Evans said that shortly before 10:30 a.m. EDT, he and a fellow officer were called to a Delta gate.
There, the officers met with a Delta representative who reported that crew members had removed a woman, later identified as Sylvia Rictor, from the flight when they discovered she was in another passenger’s seat and could not produce a boarding pass or identification.
When the officers responded, they, too, asked her for identification and boarding pass. She told police she had thrown away her ticket and did not have any form of identification on her.
The officers informed Rictor that under those circumstances, she would have to leave the airport and escorted her off the premises.
As a safety precaution, the other passengers were rescreened before the flight finally departed for Atlanta at 1:16 p.m. EDT. The delay put the flight 2 hours and 41 minutes behind schedule, according to FlightAware.com.
Lt. Wanda Miglio told USA TODAY that the Orlando Department had notified the FBI and would assist that agency, the TSA, Delta and Greater Orlando Aviation Authority in investigating the incident. She said police would also conduct an internal review.
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“‘The TSA can confirm that the individual went through screening at the TSA checkpoint,” TSA public affairs manager Dani Bennett told USA TODAY. “We are working with law enforcement to investigate the incident at the plane and will not be providing any additional information at this time.”
According to the TSA website, it is possible to fly without presenting valid identification in the event a passenger loses or forgets to bring it.
“The TSA officer may ask you to complete an identity verification process which includes collecting information such as your name, current address, and other personal information to confirm your identity,” the policy says.
If the passenger’s information checks out, the passenger is allowed to enter the security checkpoint for additional screening.
USA TODAY has also reached out to representatives for the FBI and Orlando International Airport.
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