Officials let stowaway aboard Virgin flight despite invalid ID
The Nigerian-American man who managed to get on a New York to Los Angeles flight last week without a valid boarding pass used only an identification card from the University of Michigan, federal authorities said. But federal rules indicate that a university ID alone should not be enough to board a flight.
Valid forms of identification include a state-issued driver's license, military identification, and passport, according to TSA regulations. University identification is not included on the list.
Sources familiar with federal regulations told The Times that a university identification alone should not have been sufficient to board the flight.
Federal authorities confirmed to The Times that Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi, 24, holds dual Nigerian and American citizenship.
A spokesperson at the University of Michigan said Noibi is not a current student. He did attend from 2004-2006.
In a statement to authorities, Noibi claimed he was able to board the Virgin America plane by showing his university identification as well as a police document in which he reported that his passport had been stolen. It is unclear whether authorities saw the police report.
Noibi had been charged with being a stowaway after flying from New York to Los Angeles without a valid ticket. He was questioned by federal authorities after that flight, but was not detained. He returned to LAX on Tuesday and was able to clear airport screening. He spent the night in the airport and was arrested the next day when he attempted to board a Delta Air Lines flight without a valid boarding pass. Authorities found 10 boarding passes under different names -- none his -- in his bag.
-- Andrew Blankstein and Kate Mather
Photo: Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Los Angeles Times