Airline security still isn't: Man uses old boarding passes to fly NY-LA for free


Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi, a Nigerian-American man, managed to bypass all layers of airport security and avoid arrest for five days after Virgin America and authorities learned that he'd flown from New York to Los Angeles as a stowaway. It all started when some of his nearby passengers on the Virgin America flight complained that he was emanating powerful B.O. From the Los Angeles Times:

A flight attendant asked Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi for his boarding pass and was surprised to see it was from a different fight and in someone else's name. She alerted authorities, and Noibi went back to sleep in his black leather airline seat. When the plane landed, authorities chose not to arrest Noibi, allowing him to leave the airport.

On Wednesday, Noibi was arrested trying to board a Delta flight out of Los Angeles. Once again, he had managed to pass undetected through security with an expired ticket issued in someone else's name. Authorities found at least 10 other boarding passes, none of which belonged to him. Law enforcement sources told The Times they suspect Noibi has used expired plane tickets to sneak on to flights in the past. On his website, Noibi describes himself as a "frequent traveler."

(...) Noibi, also known as Seun Noibi, proclaims himself a "storyteller, strategist and designer who is passionate about reaching the world for Jesus," according to his Facebook page. He was arrested in Chicago in 2008 after allegedly refusing to pay a $4.70 fare on a Metra train. Those charges were later dropped.
Noibi faces stowaway charges and is scheduled to appear in federal court Friday.

Looks like this is his Facebook page, according to what's published in the Los Angeles Times, and this would be his LinkedIn profile. This is his blog. And, here's his YouTube channel. Apparently he is some sort of freelance video producer? Below, one of the videos from his YouTube channel, identified as a kind of proof-of-concept ad he produced. His channel is full of ads he must have produced for various evangelical Nigerian religious entrepreneurs. And he is a Gemini.

Here's the video description:
There are a lot of activities that we do now that we won't do in heaven! The one activity we do now that we will do in heaven? Worship. We will be doing that forever. In fact, you can sort of look at this Ad as an Invitation topractice!


  1. Refuse TSA search, $10,000 fine…
    Fly with someones elses old boarding pass, ” authorities chose not to arrest Noibi, allowing him to leave the airport.”?

    1. Yes I did see he was arrested days later…
      Wonder if any TSA personnel will be reprimanded in anyway, yeah right.

      1. No, probably not at all, not the TSA… the airline will get slapped with hefty fines instead. The TSA will allow knifes, guns, life ammo and many other dangerous things on board, but will, without fail, confiscate your sunscreen just because it’s more than 3oz… Letting somebody on board without matching ID and boarding pass? Who would ever blame the TSA agent sitting on a podium ahead of the screening line, and looking at nothing but boarding passes and IDs?

  2. What I don’t understand about this guy is how he found an empty seat. Are there flights that regularly take off with empty seats? I can’t recall the last time I flew and the gate attendant *didn’t* say “we have a very full flight and will be gate-checking carry-ons”. I can’t imagine the NY-LA routes would entail a lot planes with empty seats. For those few flights where there are empty seats, how does he know which ones to go to?

    The other thing I wonder about is how he got past the gate attendants. Are there places where they don’t scan your boarding pass, or does the scanner not flag expired passes — presumably the attendants don’t look too close unless there’s a problem.

    1. I flew LA to NYC and back last week on Virgin America. Had an empty seat next to me on the return flight. So it does happen. If it were me I’d hang out in the boarding area until last call, then shamble onto the plane and hope for an empty seat.

      But yeah, I’m really curious how he managed to get past the ID screener before security and avoid getting his boarding pass scanned at the gate. It seems unlikely that you could reliably evade both of those.

    2. Finding empty seats? the quote sez leather seat. To me that is either first or business class. I’ve rarely seen those full. Also a good cover. Rich people don’t comit crimes, so why look there for terrorists?

  3. I guess the TSA agents were too busy searching terrorists diapers and gawking at naked radiation scans to worry about tickets and boarding passes.

    Just think, if this guy had taken a shower every day, or at least before flying, he could have gotten away with it indefinitely.

  4. I’m sure that, in typical “reaction only” planning, security will close this gap by making everyone sign a document that says they’re not Noibi before they’re allowed to pass through the airline checkpoints. For efficiency’s sake, maybe we can sign the document while they’re x-raying our shoes and throwing out our contact lens solution.

  5. “passionate about reaching the world for Jesus”

    WWJD? I’m thought stealing travel wasn’t on the list.

  6. There’s no way for the TSA to validate a boarding pass at the security gate. Anyone can generate a forgery with ease and use it without detection. You still need an ID, but since they don’t have any way to verify those either, again a good forgery will work.

    So, buy a fake ID, generate a fake boarding pass that looks like the ones you’d print on-line, and walk through security any time you like.

    I have no idea how the airline staff allowed this dude onto their plane with a bogus pass.

    1. The TSA may not be able to validate a boarding pass, but all the articles I’ve read on this note that the name on the man’s ID did not match the name on the boarding pass. None of the 10 or ro expired passes he had were in his name and he gave a college ID with his real name on the flight. Gross failure on their part as well as the airline’s.

  7. Every flight I’ve been on in the last 10 years requires the boarding pass scanner to go “bing!” and a friendly smile and eye contact with the gate attendant before I can walk the jetway. This dude must be a *real charmer*.

  8. I flew on Southwest a few weeks ago and I specifically noticed the gate agent was doing a really poor job of scanning the boarding passes- he just swiped each pass under the laser scanner and- while most of the passes went “ding”- many didn’t, and he didn’t even bat an eyebrow.

    I would imagine that there are plenty of empty seats on NYC-LAX flights, given their frequency.

    1. Same here, with Southwest, American and Continental. Gate attendants often don’t wait for the ‘ding’ anymore.

      I’ve wondered how often someone gets on the wrong flight by mistake and the boarding pass issue isn’t noticed, but it didn’t occur to me that someone might pull it off on purpose.

  9. Damn soapless Geminis stinkin’ up the joint…something should be done about those people.

  10. How’s this whole TSA thing working out? Not very damn well it seems. I wish this were funny but it’s not. What it is is stupid and lazy. So yeah, we’ll toss your shit and confiscate your contact solution, nail clippers, and baby powder but the ticket takers really don’t give two shits if you are who you say you are so… yeah… whatever. NEXT!

  11. So I get the gloved hand in the punani and this guy gets on the plane and OFF because they dont wanna bother him???

    Fucking hell.


  12. In 2006 I bought ticket to Milwaukee from a crumby travel agency who sold me a 7/6/6 ticket instead of a 6/7/6. I hadn’t noticed the boob until check-in time when the agent pointed out my ticket was actually for next month. I explained I was going to a wedding and had to travel today. He let me check-in but warned that I might not make it through security. I made it to the wedding w/o any problem. However, while going through security scanners, a guard asked to search my bag and open my gift wrapped wedding present. I gave hiim permission, he look inside and said to me with a smile “Killer screwdrivers, eh?!” My gift was a juicer.

  13. Well, it’s a good thing terrorists don’t have proper hygiene habits, or we’d all be in trouble. Right?

  14. PROTIP for boarding pass hackers: put “SSSS” on the front of your pass. It’s a special code that will help you zip through security quickly!!

  15. And he would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for B.O..
    God forbid if terrorist discovers airlines greatest security flaw, the deodorant.

      1. Funny, no free deodorant in first class?

        Maybe lemon-scented handi-wipes would have sufficed.

  16. You guys got it all wrong. The BO is exactly what let him get away with it for so long. All those TSA and ticket attendants were just anxious to get rid of him as quickly as possible.

  17. Looks like he took “There are a lot of activities that we do now that we won’t do in heaven!” too far.

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