Yaazmina Payton, 23, was arrested at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on Sunday morning, after she boarded the flight to Los Angeles, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Cook County prosecutors told a judge on Monday that someone alerted a ticket agent when they spotted Ms Payton duck under the ropes at the ticket gate at Terminal 3.
After she was unable to produce a ticket or boarding pass, Ms Payton was arrested and charged with felony criminal trespass.
Authorities said that Ms Payton offered to show them how she managed to evade security, saying that she walked into a secure area while Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers were distracted.
Assistant State’s Attorney Jocelyn Schieve told the judge that the 23-year-old also admitted to walking through another security checkpoint, according to the New York Post.
Ms Payton said that she evaded security and boarded the American Airlines flight to Los Angeles as she wanted to get to the city to see the rapper Jay Z.
The 23-year-old’s court-appointed attorney told the judge that she has post-traumatic stress disorder and an anxiety disorder.
A TSA spokesperson told the Tribune in a statement that the agency has begun an investigation into the incident that could take up to 90 days to complete.
Spokesman Sonny Lorrius told the Post that Ms Payton was “successfully screened” before she entered secure areas, and added: “The safety and security of all travellers are our top priority.”
In a statement, an American Airlines spokesperson told The Independent: “The flight departed to LAX after law enforcement searched and cleared the aircraft for departure.”
Ms Payton has been banned from O’Hare International Airport and was released on a $500 (£381) bail.