Boy who sneaked onto Delta plane headed home soon

11:09 AM, Oct 8, 2013   |    comments
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LAS VEGAS - The 9-year-old Twin Cities boy who sneaked past TSA screeners, gate agents and onto a Delta Air Lines jet bound for Las Vegas last week will soon be on his way back to Minneapolis.

USA Today reports that Las Vegas Police are working with the child's parents to get him back to Minnesota sometime Tuesday.

The story has dominated headlines across the country since it broke on KARE 11 Saturday. Many continue to question how a child could get by federal screeners and a Delta gate agent without either a ticket or a boarding pass.

"We typically pay extra close attention to unaccompanied minors," said longtime flight attendant Gregg Proteaux.  "How this happened is baffling."

On Monday afternoon Delta released a statement praising the flight crew that figured out something was amiss when they noticed the child was flying alone and unsupervised. The airline also promised to review policies and procedures so a similar incident would not happen in the future.

"Delta continues to work with authorities and look into the circumstances involving an un-ticketed minor boarding an aircraft in Minneapolis-St. Paul," said Delta spokesperson Leslie Scott in a prepared statement. "We commend the flight crew of flight 1651, whose vigilance and awareness of the cabin led them to proactively alert authorities to the situation prior to the aircraft landing in Las Vegas. Safety and security are always Delta's highest priorities and we are reviewing our policies and procedures to make sure something like this does not happen again."

Authorities say the 9-year-old boarded the plane Thursday morning after making his way through security screeners at MSP International Airport. Delta Flight 1651 took off around 11:15 a.m. and was in the air when crews became suspicious and called Las Vegas Police to meet the plane. The boy has been in the custody of protective services since then.

Hennepin County Protective services will take the lead on the investigation into the boy's welfare once he arrives back in the Twin Cities. The parents of the child are said to be cooperating fully.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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