Aviation News

July 27, 2012

No Ticket, No ID: British Boy Sneaks Onto Airline Flight

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Written by: BNO News
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Jet2.com Boing 737-300 (G-CELI) "Manchester Jet". (Photo by Juergen Lehle, CC BY-SA)

An 11-year-old boy managed to board a plane at Manchester Airport in England Tuesday without having a passport, ticket or boarding pass, airline and airport officials said on Wednesday. Three airline staff members have been suspended.

The young boy was shopping with his mother about a mile (1.6 kilometer) from Manchester International Airport when he ran off and made his way to the airport, where he mingled with several families as he approached security. He then proceeded to board Jet2.com Flight 791 unnoticed.

“Thirty minutes into the flight the crew members were made aware by passengers and we alerted the police immediately,” a Jet2.com spokesperson said. Security and staff from the airline looked after the boy when he arrived at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, and he was later flown back to Manchester where he was reunited with his family.

“This extremely serious matter is now being urgently investigated by officials from the airport and airline,” a Manchester Airport spokesperson said. “It is clear that documentation has not been checked correctly at security and the boarding gate. The boy went through full security screening so the safety of passengers and the aircraft was never compromised.”

Jet2.com, Manchester Airport and the Department for Transport are all investigating the unusual incident. “We are reviewing all of our procedures in light of this incident and three members of staff involved have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation,” the airline spokesperson said. “Passengers can rest assured that this is an isolated incident and at no time was there any safety risk.”

The Jet2.com spokesperson said its staff are not required to do a head count when passengers are taken to the aircraft through a jet bridge, but this policy has now been changed following Tuesday’s incident. “Head counts have immediately been put in place across each of our flights from all airports, including those where air bridges are in use,” she said.



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