The airline said they are looking into how she was able to make it past security

By Claudia Harmata
October 07, 2019 03:32 PM
Robert Alexander/Getty

A woman was escorted off a Delta plane by police on Saturday after she somehow managed to board the flight without a valid ID or boarding pass at the Orlando International Airport in Florida.

Sylvia Rictor was discovered when another passenger, Jenni Clemons, noticed Rictor was in her seat and wouldn’t move because she insisted the seat was hers, according to ABC affiliate WFTV.

When a flight attendant tried to resolve the conflict, Rictor was unable to produce a ticket or ID to prove she was in the right seat.

“Who knows where I threw it. I just threw it out as soon as I got on the plane,“ Rictor reportedly told the flight attendant who asked to see her boarding pass. When she was subsequently asked for her ID she simply held up her phone to show a picture of herself on the device.

The flight attendant reportedly replied, “Ma’am, that’s not a government-issued ID. That’s a photo.“

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When Rictor couldn’t provide either an ID or boarding pass, the pilot called the police who came and removed her from the plane.

In a statement from Delta obtained by USA Today, the airline apologized for the delay caused by Rictor, and stated that once she was discovered “security officials then directed a precautionary rescreen of everyone onboard.”

“We were stopped pretty quickly, and the pilot explained it was because the lady was not cooperating with TSA, and she did not have a ticket to any airline at all,” Clemons told WFTV. “They could not figure out how she even got on the plane.“

“The plane was searched by dogs and TSA agents. Every single passenger had a pat-down, and all of our bags were searched again,“ Clemons added.

Delta did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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The flight eventually took off, almost three hours later than scheduled, and made it to its destination in Atlanta, Georgia.

In their statement, the airline said they are looking into how Rictor was able to make it past security and onto the plane.

“Delta is working with local law enforcement and the Transportation Security Administration on their investigation and we are conducting our own review of this as well,” Delta stated. “Safety and security is always our top priority.”

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