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FAA Investigates Southwest Airlines After Stowaway Takes Flight

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The Federation Aviation Administration is investigating whether Southwest Airlines violated any federal aviation regulations after a 62-year-old stowaway boarded one of their planes.

"Upon arrival in Los Angeles, a Southwest employee became aware of the unticketed passenger and immediately notified local authorities," said a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines.

Along with the Transportation Security Administration, the FAA are questioning how Marilyn Hartman got past a TSA document checker, then boarded a Southwest Jet without a ticket at San Jose Mineta International Airport.

"I don't even see how this is possible. I have the TSA pre-check, still you have to show your driver's license, you have to show your ticket, multiple times, seems like it just seems like it'd be impossible for that to happen," said businessman Andy Shores, who flies every week.

The flight landed in Los Angeles.

For its part, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines said it's "actively investigating" the incident.

TSA said Hartman did go through the security checkpoint, and did not pose a security threat.

"I think it's very serious. You should never allow someone onto an airplane who doesn't have the proper documents to do so," said former TSA Federal Security Director at Five West Texas Airports, Jim Holden.

The TSA released the following statement:
"Following an initial review by TSA at San Jose International Airport, the agency has initiated minor modifications to the layout of the document checking area to prevent another incident like this one."

‎ "If it's happening at one city, it could be more than likely happening somewhere else as well. So this wouldn't be something they just apply at San Jose Mineta International Airport, it should be something they look at system-wide at TSA," said Holden.

Authorities said Hartman tried to board six other flights without a boarding pass at other airports earlier this year.

"Six times, really? That's crazy," said Shores.

Hartman is in a Los Angeles jail on $500 bail.

Follow Jack on Twitter: @cbs11jack

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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