This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A 66-year old woman with a history of sneaking past security and onto airplanes managed to make it from Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR) on a British Airways flight last week without a ticket, boarding pass or passport.

According to CBS Chicago, Marilyn Hartman, a woman who has been arrested dozens of times over the last several years for entering restricted areas in airports and flying without a ticket, managed to slip past a checkpoint at domestic Terminal 3 at O’Hare, then spent two days wandering around the airport unquestioned before making her way to international Terminal 5 and boarding a Sunday afternoon British Airways flight to Heathrow.

Hartman reportedly made her way past a gate agent, hid in the airplane’s bathroom until after takeoff, then found an empty seat for the trip to England. Upon arriving in London without a passport, Hartman was sent back to O’Hare and arrested on Thursday.

Marilyn Hartman, the “serial stowaway,” has successfully boarded multiple flights without a ticket. Photo: Chicago police.

According to a 2015 profile of the serial stowaway in SFGate, Hartman — whose original name was Marilyn Stall — first came onto the radar of authorities in 2009 when she attempted to fly from Hawaii using another woman’s identity. Since then, Hartman has had run-ins at airports in California, Arizona, Florida, the Pacific Northwest and Minnesota. She is often caught in the process of attempting to board planes or bypass security, but she has also managed to successfully travel on flights.

In August 2014, Hartman flew on a Southwest flight from San Jose (SJC) to Los Angeles (LAX) without a ticket, only to get arrested upon her arrival in LA. In early 2015 she made it from Minnesota to Jacksonville (JAX), then checked into a hotel under another person’s name. Then in the summer of 2015, she was arrested at O’Hare less than 24 hours after having been released from jail for attempts to get past security at the Chicago area airports.

Hartman, a transient who has been in several mental health facilities, often provides far fetched explanations for her exploits, including the idea that authorities conspire to allow her to board airplanes so that she can then be arrested. However, previous news reports note that her most successful tactic appears to be blending in with large groups to avoid being noticed.

A statement from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said that, “This matter is subject to an ongoing investigation and TSA is working closely with our law enforcement and airline partners in that effort.” Hartman is charged with one misdemeanor count of criminal trespassing and one felony count of theft. She will be arraigned on Tuesday.

H/T: Chicago Tribune via TPG reader Richard S.

Featured image by Richard Baker / Getty Images.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.