Philippe Jeannard, 61, pleaded guilty to fraud today for impersonating a pilot and heading into the cockpit of a U.S. Airways flight at Philadelphia International Airport.
Jeannard was wearing a shirt with an Air France logo and captain's epaulets on his shoulder, had a ticket for a Florida-bound flight on March 20 and asked at the check-in counter for an upgrade, authorities said.
He became upset when he was told there were no available seats, authorities said. A supervisor asked if he was an airline employee, and "the defendant responded that he was," authorities said.
A flight attendant noticed that he had an Air France ID card and asked "as a matter of courtesy" if he wanted to speak to the pilots, authorities said.
The pilot and co-pilot told authorities that he entered the cockpit while they were performing their preflight duties and checks and said he was a Boeing 747 pilot, according to officials.
The U.S. Attorney's office says the I.D. card belonged to a former employee of Air France.
A sentencing date has not been set, but Jeannard faces up to 6 months in prison.