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Serial Stowaway Marilyn Hartman Is at It Again

Serial Stowaway Marilyn Hartman Is at It Again
Jeff Edwards

Serial stowaway and frequent courtroom visitor Marilyn Hartman was arrested again on Friday at Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD) after allegedly attempting to board a flight with no boarding pass and no identification – this, despite promising a judge just months ago that she would not set foot in the airport as part of her sentencing for sneaking onto a London-bound flight.

Repeated stowaway on flights all around the country, Marilyn Hartman last made news earlier this year when her illicit hobby went international after she slipped aboard a flight from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR). As a part of her plea agreement for this latest misadventure, Hartman promised to stay away from both of Chicago’s major airports. The plea deal came after months of court-ordered psychiatric care. “I do apologize for the airport and causing problems for them,” the crafty 67-year-old told the judge at the time.

It appears that Hartman’s contrition was short-lived. Police in Chicago say that she was arrested again on Friday after she attempted to pass an ORD security checkpoint without a valid boarding pass or identification. According to court records, after initially being released on bail, Hartman was ordered to be returned to custody (as she is considered a flight risk for obvious reasons).

The well-traveled senior citizen has repeatedly earned headlines after managing to slip past security checkpoints without a ticket at airports all over the U.S, including Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Chicago Midway Airport (MDW), San Jose International Airport (SJC), Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Jacksonville International Airport (JAX). By her own admission, Hartman has flown on at least eight commercial flights without ever having purchased a ticket. She has also been suspected of illegally checking into hotel rooms under the names of reservation holders and then making her escape before the registered guest arrives to check in.

According to The New York Post, Hartman’s rein as a scofflaw-frequent-flyer has lasted for nearly a decade. The first mention of the perennial Worst Passenger of the Week in the forums dates back to August of 2014 when she was arrested after successfully boarding a Southwest Airlines flight from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). At the time, Flyertalkers were already debating whether her antics were about free travel or if they were a result of mental illness and an uncontrollable compulsion.

Will Marilyn Hartman’s wings ever be clipped for good? A fascinating timeline of her zero-budget travels and numerous run-ins with law enforcement over the past five years, which slowly reveals itself as it happened, can be found in the Flyertalk Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate forum.

View Comments (5)


  1. downinit

    October 16, 2019 at 11:53 am

    If she were of middle-eastern descent, she would have been given a free flight to Guantanamo on her first offense. This is really an out-of-control case of white privilege run amok. What will it take to actually get her arrested and punished?

  2. TechOps

    October 16, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    “Flight risk”..I see what you did there.

  3. The Pompous Man

    October 16, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    “This is really an out-of-control case of white privilege run amok”

    SJW alert.

  4. Babjak

    October 16, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    @downinit well if you were flying tel Aviv they would absolutely do the same… and you would be glad they did. It’s called profiling for a reason, and it works.

    People who are butt hurt get offended easily but that’s fine, be butt hurt, but we will be alive. Your feelings will not hurt me but someone with a bomb sure will.

  5. gavron

    October 17, 2019 at 8:51 am

    So the TSA Security Theater didn’t catch her and the boarding gate employee didn’t catch her… and she managed to fly on at least 8 flights without being caught…

    …and we’re discussing why SHE is the bad guy?

    Holy ker-smokers-batman. The bad actors here are
    – TSA for failure to be useful
    – Gate crew for failing to ensure a pax without a boarding pass got aboard

    This lady? She’s nothing. Harmless.
    Her tactics – can be used by bad actors with harmful intent. Republicans and Terrorists and the like.


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