Yesterday, in a scene similar to Home Alone 2, an 11-year-old boy boarded a plane from Manchester to Rome on his own without a passport, tickets or boarding pass. He did pass through the security screening process.
The boy had been shopping with his Mother when he decided to head to the airport and fly somewhere. As a kid, it was pretty easy to mingle with other families and get past the boarding pass checks. He chose a budget carrier called Jet2, which, I think, doesn’t have allocated seating; so as long as the flight wasn’t full then nobody worried.
During the flight, the staff became suspicious (with hindsight he shouldn’t have ordered a gin and tonic) and he had to stay on board when the plane landed in Rome. He’s now back home.
In days gone by, this would have just been a humourous story presented at the end of the news in the ‘and finally’ segment. Sadly, in the current climate, everyone is aghast that someone could breach airport security.
- UK Transport Secretary Justine Greening said: “I treat security breaches very, very seriously indeed, so we are now reviewing urgently with Manchester Airport, and indeed the airline, exactly what happened.”
- Jet2 Managing Director Ian Doubtfire: “We will make sure that this doesn’t happen again”
- A spokesperson for Jet2.com said: “On Tuesday an 11-year-old boy cleared security at Manchester Airport, without the necessary paperwork but had been through a full security search. The boy then boarded our flight bound for Rome. We have launched a full investigation into what is a serious incident, and the staff involved have been suspended pending the outcome.”
I feel really sorry for the staff involved. I’ve seen many families board planes; one parent carrying a baby, two kids running around, the other parent with a stack of passports and boarding passes. The flight attendant is trying to board everyone as quickly as possible and one extra kid is easily missed. It isn’t as if he was a security risk as he has passed through the security scanner.
I think everyone should relax a bit and enjoy the story. I just wish he could have made it all the way to the Trevi Fountain before being flown back at Jet2’s expense.