CHICAGO — A woman dubbed the “serial stowaway” has been busted for the 10th time for sneaking through security and onto an airplane without a ticket, this time making it all the way from Chicago to London before being caught.
Marilyn Hartman, 66, of Grayslake, Illinois, is a notorious figure in aviation circles for her ability to find ways of getting onto planes unnoticed despite the intense security at airports.
She was busted at least eight times in 2014 for pulling such stunts. The next year, she got nabbed twice in two months at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports. She’s also been arrested in California and Arizona.
Hartman has spent a year in jail for the repeated episodes and was released on probation to a nursing home in December 2015.
But Chicago police say Hartman showed up at O’Hare on Jan. 14, where she managed to sneak past airport security without a boarding pass or passport, and then got on a British Airways flight to London.
She allegedly hid in the airplane bathroom during takeoff and then sat down in an empty seat for the rest of the flight, although airline staff realized she didn’t belong there and notified authorities in the United Kingdom that they had a stowaway onboard.
Hartman was detained at Heathrow Airport and sent back to Chicago where she was place under arrest.
In a statement, the Transportation Security Administration said Hartman had been checked through security even though she had no ticket and that it was investigating what went wrong.