Park City snowboarder accused of trying to sneak onto Texas flight home at SLC airport faces federal charges

The man used a photo of another passenger’s boarding pass to board the plane, prosecutors say.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Delta Air Lines planes at Salt Lake City International Airport, on Friday, Dec. 23, 2022.

A Texas man who authorities say took a picture of another person’s boarding pass and tried to sneak onto a Salt Lake City airport flight home after a snowboarding trip to Park City is now charged with national security crimes.

A federal grand jury this month indicted 26-year-old Wicliff Yves Fleurizard, of Leander, Texas, on charges of stowing away on an aircraft and access device fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah.

Fleurizard was arrested March 17 after he successfully boarded a Delta Air Lines flight bound for Austin, Texas, using a cellphone photo of another passenger’s boarding pass. Once on the plane, he opened an emergency equipment storage door, charging documents say.

A flight attendant who saw Fleurizard open the storage door then directed him to the plane’s front lavatory, which Fleurizard stayed inside of for the remainder of boarding.

When he exited the lavatory, he then made his way to the plane’s back lavatory. By the time he exited that restroom, a flight attendant noticed all the plane’s seats were occupied and confronted Fleurizard.

The plane had started to taxi away from its gate when Fleurizard claimed another passenger was in his seat. When flight attendants verified that was not true, and were unable to locate a valid ticket or booking reservation for him, the plane returned to the gate and Fleurizard was arrested.

Authorities reviewed surveillance video of the boarding area, which showed Fleurizard surreptitiously taking photos of several passengers’ phones and paper boarding passes before boarding the plane.

Fleurizard told police he was “only trying to get home” after a snowboarding trip to Park City, according to charging documents. A friend had given him a Southwest Airlines companion pass, he said, which allowed him to get through airport security.

But he was then unable to board any Southwest flights because they were full, he told police, prompting him to try and fly home on the Delta plane.

Fleurizard’s initial court appearance will be scheduled for “a later date,” federal prosecutors said.