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Boy bypasses Minneapolis Airport Security, boards plane to Las Vegas [UPDATE]

Airline officials are investigating how a nine-year-old boy bypassed security at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, apparently without a ticket, and boarded a Delta flight to Las Vegas.

SEE ALSO: Mpls runaway girls planned to travel "out of the country to Wisconsin"

The Minneapolis boy was unaccompanied, but possibly blended in with another family, as he passed through several layers of security Thursday.

"The fact that the child's actions weren't detected until he was in flight is concerning," Patrick Hogan, an airport spokesman, wrote in a statement.

However, more than 33 millions people travel through the airport every year, Hogan added, "and I don't know of another instance (during) my 13 years at the airport in which anything similar has happened."

Once in flight, attendants grew suspicious and alerted authorities on the ground. The boy was turned over to Child Protective Services.

The TSA has reviewed surveillance footage and released the following statement: "The child was screened along with all other passengers to ensure that he was not a threat to the aircraft."

Delta permits children 5 to 14 to travel alone and offers to walk them on the plane, show them to their seat and, time permitting, introduce them to the cockpit crew. The airline could not be reached for comment.

The boy arrived at 10:37 a.m. on the southbound light rail, but apparently that wasn't his first solo trip.

KARE 11 reports that he visited the airport one day earlier and "took someone's luggage off a carousel, ordered food at a pre-security restaurant, asked the server to watch his luggage while he went to the restroom, but never returned."

A missing child report was not filed last week, at least not with the Minneapolis police, according to the Daily News. They were made aware of the boy's absence after their counterparts in Las Vegas reached out.

You gotta hand it to the kid for getting that far -- although he'd probably have more difficulty exploring Sin City.

::: UPDATE :::

Statement released Monday by the airliner:

Delta continues to work with authorities and look into the circumstances involving an un-ticketed minor boarding an aircraft in Minneapolis-St. Paul. 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.

-- Email Jesse Marx at jmarx@citypages.com or follow him on Twitter at @marxjesse


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