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Man boards Delta flight using photo of another passenger’s ticket

The man said that he ‘needed to get home to see his family’  (Getty Images)
The man said that he ‘needed to get home to see his family’ (Getty Images)

A Texas man has been arrested after he managed to board a Delta Air Lines flight by using a photo he took of another passenger’s boarding pass while he was not looking.

The 26-year-old Wicliff Yves Fleurizard is facing one count of stowing away on a vessel or aircraft after he boarded the flight without a ticket, according to a complaint filed in a Utah district court on Monday.

Security footage allegedly captured Mr Fleurizard taking pictures of the phones and boarding passes of multiple passengers before boarding was called for a flight to Austin, Texas, while in Salt Lake City Internationa Airport on 17 March.

Mr Fleurizard was able to snap the photos while the passengers were not looking, the complaint alleged.

Once the plane started to board, Mr Fleurizard got onto the aircraft and went into the front lavatory, where he spent a “significant amount of time” while other passengers filed onto the flight.

It was only after boarding was complete and the doors were secured that Mr Fleurizard emerged from the lavatory and made his way to the back of the plane, where he entered another lavatory.

After he left the lavatory, a flight attendant noticed that there were no seats available and went up to Mr Fleurizard to try to assist him, the complaint stated.

At this point, the plane had already pushed back from the gate and had begun taxiing to the runway.

The man told the attendant that his seat was 21F, but the crew verified that the person who bought the ticket for that seat was already sitting there.

Flight attendants obtained Mr Fleurizard’s actual name and realised that he did not have a ticket for this flight after searching on their system.

The plane was forced to taxi back to the gate, where Mr Fleurizard was contacted by law enforcement.

Mr Fleurizard told police that he was visiting Park City, Utah, on a snowboarding trip, and was using his friend’s Southwest “buddy pass” to get home; however, the two flights he tried to get on with that airline were both full.

He added that he “needed to get home to see his family”.

The complaint stated that Mr Fleurizard “admitted he had made a mistake and was only trying to get home”.

Police told CNN that he is being held at Salt Lake County Metro Jail on a federal detainer.

Delta Air Lines also said in a statement to The Independent that they are cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

“Delta is cooperating with law enforcement and relevant federal agencies regarding an investigation into a non-ticketed individual being escorted off DL 1863 on March 17 aircraft in Salt Lake City prior to a scheduled departure,” they said.

The Independent has contacted Mr Fleurizard’s attorney and Delta Air Lines for comment.