By EILEEN SULLIVAN
WASHINGTON — A Nigerian man boarded a Virgin America airplane last week with an invalid boarding pass — making it through a federal security checkpoint where travelers must show identification and their boarding passes.
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After the man, Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi, got through security, the airline let him onto the plane even though his boarding pass was for a flight the day before, according to the FBI.
The identification check at airport security checkpoints was put in place as one of many new security measures after the Sepot. 11, 2001 attacks against the United States. These federal document checkers have basic fraudulent identification training.
Mid-flight from New York to Los Angeles, a flight attendant noticed Noibi was sitting in a seat that was supposed to be vacant. Noibi showed the attendant the expired boarding pass that was in someone else’s name, and then showed him a University of Michigan identification card with his picture on it.
The boarding pass belonged to a man who said his boarding pass went missing from his pocket on his way to the airport June 23. Noibi boarded the plane with the expired pass the next day.
Noibi was arrested Wednesday when law enforcement officials saw him trying to board another flight and discovered he had more than 10 other expired boarding passes belonging to others in his bag.
Noibi has been charged with being a stowaway.
"Every passenger that passes through security checkpoints is subject to many layers of security including thorough physical screening at the checkpoint," Transportation Security Administration spokesman Greg Soule said. "TSA’s review of this matter indicates that the passenger went through screening." TSA would not comment on what else happened, citing an ongoing FBI investigation.
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