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Tokyo-bound flight live-tweeted by Chrissy Teigen carried 2 unauthorized passengers, TSA official says

UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 27, 2017

Model Chrissy Teigen poses at the 2017 Revolve Awards on Nov. 2, 2017 at the Dream Hollywood hotel in Los Angeles. An airline says a Tokyo-bound flight returned to Los Angeles hours into the journey after the crew discovered that one of the passengers had boarded the wrong plane. Teigen was aboard and live-tweeted the developments. She wondered on Twitter why the plane was turning around four hours into the 11-hour flight. (Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)
Model Chrissy Teigen poses at the 2017 Revolve Awards on Nov. 2, 2017 at the Dream Hollywood hotel in Los Angeles. An airline says a Tokyo-bound flight returned to Los Angeles hours into the journey after the crew discovered that one of the passengers had boarded the wrong plane. Teigen was aboard and live-tweeted the developments. She wondered on Twitter why the plane was turning around four hours into the 11-hour flight. (Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)
By Joseph Serna Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES – A Tokyo-bound flight from Los Angeles that turned back to widespread attention on social media was carrying two brothers, one of whom was not authorized to be on board, the Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday.

The unauthorized passenger had a boarding pass for a United Airlines flight, but boarded the All Nippon Airlines flight with his brother, who had the correct ticket for the flight, said Mike England, a TSA spokesman.

Both were aboard Tokyo-bound All Nippon Airlines Flight 175 when it departed Los Angeles International Airport about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. About four hours after it departed, it turned around and headed back to Los Angeles, where it landed about 7:30 p.m.

Model Chrissy Teigen, who was on the rerouted flight, kept her Twitter followers entranced for hours after she recounted the incident in a series of tweets starting before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“(A) flying first for me: 4 hours into an 11 hour flight and we are turning around because we have a passenger who isn’t supposed to be on this plane. Why … why do we all gotta go back, I do not know,” she tweeted.

“At the time during the flight, the pilot in command was presented with information about the discrepancy in the passenger manifest. Based on the available information in flight, he made the correct decision to return to LAX,” the airline said in a statement. “ANA supports the decision of the pilot, out of the abundance of caution and safety for the passengers and crew onboard.”

The unauthorized passenger had moved through security checkpoints with his sibling and gone through the TSA’s 20 layers of security – both seen and unseen – before they made it to the terminal, a government official said.

It was up to the airline’s employees to ensure the passengers had the proper boarding passes for the flight, authorities said.

Once the flight returned in Los Angeles and passengers exited the aircraft, the FBI interviewed the brothers and several other passengers, the government official said.

No arrests have been made, according to the FBI.

By early Wednesday morning, Teigen and her fellow passengers were back on board and headed for Tokyo.

There were 208 passengers on the flight’s manifest, a spokesman for the airline said Wednesday.

Teigen was on the flight with her husband, musician John Legend.

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