The Transportation Security Administration officials said they are still trying to figure out how he did it. CNN reports
Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, said the crew of Delta Flight 1651 "became suspicious of the child's circumstances" during the flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas. Crew members got in touch with authorities in Las Vegas and turned the boy over to Child Protective Services, Hogan said in a statement.
"Fortunately, the flight crew took appropriate actions to ensure the child's safety, so the story does have a good ending," he said. Delta said it takes the incident "very seriously" and is working with authorities.
The boy, a runaway from the Twin Cities, spent a good amount of time at the airport before boarding the plane, KARE said. He was there the day before, the station reported, citing airport officials. He passed his time by taking luggage from a carousel, bringing it to an airport eatery and then ditching it, asking a server to watch the bag "while he went to the restroom."
The following day the child took the train to the airport, cleared security and made it to Las Vegas nearly without detection.
"Obviously, the fact that the child's actions weren't detected until he was in flight is concerning," Hogan wrote. Still, 33 million people travel through Minneapolis' airport every year, he noted. "I don't know of another instance in my 13 years at the airport in which anything similar has happened," he said.
A flight security expert said it's very concerning that the child made it through several security checks
"All of this (security) since 9/11 has been to keep us safe. And it has, but still we have gaping holes, and this is a perfect example of it," Terry Trippler of ThePlaneRules.com told KARE.