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Airport Worker Stows Away on Plane, Claimed He Had a “Free Pass”

Airport employee attempted to catch flight to Boston without ticket.

An airport contract employee pleaded guilty to entering an aircraft or airport area in violation of security requirements, after he admitted to trying to stowaway on a JetBlue flight heading to Boston because he thought he had flight privileges. The Oregonian reports 19-year-old Blessing Shallome Ndayishimiye admitted to trying to catch the flight from Portland International Airport (PDX) without a ticket by using his security credentials.

Ndayishimiye was employed by Airport Terminal Services, which provides various airport services from baggage handling to gate services. Although he was primarily responsible for handling luggage, the worker still possessed security credentials which allowed him access to the secure part of the airport. On August 17, 2017 – the day of his attempted stowaway – Ndayishimiye did not report to work, but was turned away when trying to access a secure airfield.

After being sent back, Ndayishimiye then used his credentials to access the secure part of the airport and moving to the tarmac. Using a truck heading to the airplane, the would-be stowaway accessed the airplane through the jetway.

During final checks, Ndayishimiye was discovered and removed from the airplane. The 143 passengers ticketed for the flight were delayed by three hours, as police and Transportation Security Administration agents swept the airplane for explosives.

When asked to explain his actions to the court, Ndayishimiye told a federal judge he believed his credentials were “a free pass, some benefits for working at the airport,” and that he selected the flight because he didn’t think it would be full. He understood that he broke the law, but only thought his crime was accessing the tarmac outside of work hours.

Ndayishimiye is originally from Burundi and is in the United States on a student visa. While his sentence could subject him to deportation, prosecutors are expected to seek probation and a bar on future employment at airports.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
cur December 22, 2017

a sida, i mean.

cur December 22, 2017

how did he get a job and a sita on an f1 is what i want to know...

donna538 December 21, 2017

That's a crock, he should be deported. He knew he didn't have flight benefits or else he would have boarded the plane properly and not tried to sneak on.