San Jose airport officials are downplaying a security breach that occurred earlier this week when a 62-year-old woman with a history of trespassing bypassed checkpoints and boarded a
John Aitken, the Mineta San Jose International Airport acting assistant director of aviation, told the San Jose Mercury News that Marilyn Hartman was screened like every other passenger that entered the airport and "was as safe as any other."
The paper reported that Hartman tried to bypass a ticket checkpoint three times and attempted to board an Alaskan Airlines flight but was rejected.
But Hartman was eventually able to sneak past a boarding checkpoint Monday and onto the Southwest flight, going undetected until she arrived at
In a statement after Hartman's arrest was made public, San Jose airport officials said that their security procedures were not a factor in the breach and that public safety was "never compromised."
After an initial review, the federal Transportation Security Administration said it had initiated "minor modifications to the layout of the document checking area."
Hartman, who admitted to trespassing on Wednesday and was ordered to serve 24 months' summary probation, has a history of stowaway attempts at San Francisco International Airport. She was arrested at LAX again on Thursday for allegedly violating a judge's order to stay away from the airport unless she has a ticket.
"She is clever and she is very persistent. ... She is fixated on flying," LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon told The Times.
"It's a big deal when anyone tries to avoid security, be it a 62-year-old grandmother or a 24-year-old terrorist," Gannon said.
In a statement to The Times on Wednesday, Southwest Airlines said it was "actively investigating" the case.
"Our No. 1 priority remains the safety and security of our customers and employees," the airline said.
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