Two Airline Passengers sneak on Plane at Columbia Regional Airport

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Police said Tuesday they released two passengers from the state of California released on bonds after they said the passengers illegally boarded a plane through an unsecured baggage door.

Columbia Police arrested Katie Mendez and Martin Mendez-Costabel on first degree trespassing on Sunday, July 21 after they boarded an American Airlines aircraft with invalid boarding passes.

Columbia Police officers helped the Columbia Regional Airport Public Safety officers in removing the Mendez's from the plane who did not go through either the screening or boarding process.

Both passengers refused to get off the airplane, resulting in their arrest. They were released on signature bonds, meaning they could leave as long as they agree to show up in court.

Steven Sapp, spokesman for Columbia Public Works, said the passengers had valid tickets, but invalid boarding passes. Sapp said safety measures are being taken.

According to Sapp, Airport Public Safety has secured the door the passengers snuck through and is addressing the issue with the airline.