66 Year Old Stowaway On British Airways Flight From Chicago To London


It is not unusual to have stowaways that try to sneak into planes at destinations in less developed countries/regions that may unfortunately end up dead in unheated and unpressurized compartments.


It is, however, very unusual that someone is able to sneak into international flight without any boarding pass or even having a passport that just happened last week in the United States. 66 year old female was bale to bypass TSA, board the buss to the international terminal and board the British Airways flight to London. She was promptly returned back to the US after arriving to Heathrow.

Here’s an excerpt from Chicago Tribune (access the piece here):

A woman notorious for stowing away on commercial airplanes made it past two Transportation Security Administration agents at O’Hare International Airport by hiding her face with her hair, then stayed overnight at the airport before sneaking onto a plane and flying to London this week, prosecutors said Saturday.

Hartman used her hair to hide her face and walk past two federal TSA Precheck agents who were checking boarding passes around 2 p.m. on Jan. 14 at O’Hare, prosecutors said Saturday.

Hartman got onto a shuttle bus to the International Terminal and slept there overnight, prosecutors said.

The next day, Hartman managed to get past British Airways ticket agents and a Customs and Border Patrol officer, and onto a plane, prosecutors said. She sat in an empty seat and flew to London’s Heathrow Airport, but when she showed her documents to a Customs agent, she was identified as someone who entered England without proper documentation, McCarthy said.

And she has done/tried to do this previously according to NY Post (access their piece here):

She was busted for the stunt at least eight times in 2014. In 2015, she was arrested twice in two months at O’Hare and Chicago’s Midway Airport, and she’s also been nabbed in California and Arizona.

Hartman spent a year in a Chicago-area jail for the repeated episodes and was released on probation to a nursing home in December 2015.


Well. Obviously this is troubled individual albeit with no intention to harm anyone. It does, however, raise a question what these “security” people that check boarding passes and IDs were doing in Chicago on that day?

She obviously passed the security screening itself and didn’t have any items that would have raised red flags, although those are apparently easy to smuggle through as well based on other reports.

Perhaps paying less time on “war on water” and “security theater” instead of effective screening would be the right choice?

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