Missing a flight can prove to be a costly mistake. Some people with the means and the time might reschedule and wait. Others might consider getting to their destination by way of alternative modes of transportation. A woman in Canberra, Australia, elected to pursue an entirely unorthodox course of action Wednesday. For her efforts, she will likely be grounded for the foreseeable future.
After missing her flight to Adelaide, a woman bypassed security at Canberra Airport and stole onto the tarmac, hoping to flag down a QantasLink Embraer E190AR plane.
“People were a bit flat-footed; they didn’t seem to know what to do,” Dennis Bilic, a witness who captured the incident on film, told 9News. “That was the weird part.”
Bilic, who used the hashtag “runwaymodel,” on X, noted that he and other witnesses were wondering, “Is anyone gonna stop her?”
Footage shows a woman in what appear to be sandals walking around the undercarriage of a ready, loaded, and sealed aircraft, trying to get the pilot’s attention while an emergency alarm blares.
Simon Hales, another eyewitness to the futile hitchhiking efforts, said, “She’s trying to yell at the pilot, she’s trying to get his attention and jump up, it was bizarre.”
Hales apparently noted on Meta, “Well that was a little different. Sitting at the airport in Canberra ready to come home. And then a lady who had clearly missed her flight decided she could still catch it. Pushed past the staff at the door and ran down onto the tarmac and ran up to the plane. Literally was standing underneath it next the front wheel.”
Hales indicated the pilot killed the engines, having apparently spotted the woman below.
Flights at the airport were reportedly only delayed about 10 minutes.
Australian Federal Police arrested the woman around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. An AFP spokesman told Insider she has been charged with entering an airside area or security zone without permission, damaging property, and unlawful possession of cannabis.
The BBC reported the woman is set to appear in court on Friday and that bail has been denied.
While “bizarre,” the woman’s attempt was not unprecedented.
In 2015, Marc Rehmar rushed the tarmac at Denver International Airport, hoping to catch his departing flight. He ended up with two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.
In 2016, a Bolivian national who missed boarding at Spain’s Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport for a Ryanair flight bound for the Canary Islands ran across the tarmac with luggage in hand in a futile effort to flag down his flight.
The Guardian indicated the plane the man attempted to stop wasn’t his own. He was subsequently arrested.
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