Here's an air travel story that's both a little bit funny and a little bit scary.
San Francisco freeloader Marilyn Hartman was reportedly placed on probation last week after police busted her trying to sneak through SFO security -- on three different occasions -- in attempt to go to Hawaii without paying for it.
On one of those occasions, she actually got as far as boarding a United Airlines plane and taking her seat.
After Hartman sat down, "the person who really had the ticket for that seat said 'excuse me, you're in my seat," San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told KTVU.
Flight attendants booted Hartman from the plane and police arrived to escort her out. They eventually let the 62-year-old retied legal secretary off the hook. But three days later, she packed her bags and made her way to SFO, attempting again to sneak her way to Kona. This time, she only made it as far as the security gate before the cops escorted her out. Again, authorities let her go without arresting her.
Then two days later, Hartman was busted trying to get to Hawaii with another passenger's trashed boarding pass. This time she was arrested, KTVU reports.
So how did she pull this off, you ask? It's a term you know very well: "piggy backing."
According to the DA, Hartman would roll behind passengers as they went through security, screening herself behind them.
"She's a woman in her sixties. One doesn't normally think about that as being a terrorist," Wagstaffe said.
Now for the burning question: Can we go to Hawaii for free? The TSA made it clear via a brief statement that they're cracking down on would-be freeloaders like Hartman.
Per the TSA:
Following a review, TSA made minor modifications to the layout of the document checking area to prevent another incident like this one.
Hartman later told authorities she was dying form cancer and just wanted to get to a warm place before she died, however authorities say they're not sure that's the truth. She pled no contest to two misdemeanor counts of commercial burglary and was released from San Mateo County jail Thursday night after serving eight days.
She was sentenced to 18 months of probation and ordered to stay away from SFO, unless of course, she has a ticket to fly somewhere.