Big Airport $ecurity, Tight As A Sieve

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A 19-year-old man, apparently intending to score a free trip aboard a Delta flight from LA to Atlanta last month, successfully bypassed two checkpoints and then successfully boarded an airliner without a ticket. Security cameras showed that he got past the initial checkpoint by going through an unguarded roped-off area, then walked through the metal detectors. At the gate, he waited until the gate agent was distracted, then sauntered onboard. Other passengers saw what he had done, and after he went into the restroom they alerted the crew. The man, who was from Decatur, Ga., is a convicted burglar and had violated his probation, authorities told the Los Angeles Times. He was arrested but no weapons or bombs were found, and the plane was OK'd for departure within an hour. "Clearly this was a monumental security screw-up," Santa Monica resident John Hall, who was a passenger on the flight, told the Times. "Here I am, along with all the other passengers, taking off our shoes and waiting in endless lines to board a plane and this guy just strolls past the security net." The incident took place on Jan. 15, while the country was still on heightened Orange Alert. The FBI and the TSA are investigating.