Ticket? One 11-year-old didn’t need no stinking ticket, or even a passport for that matter, to fly from Manchester, U.K. to Rome recently. He simply pulled a Home Alone 2 by boarding the flight with another family. Five staff members of Jet2.com who work at the airport have reportedly been suspended as a result of the snafu.
The boy apparently ran away from his mother while she was shopping at a civic center near the airport, and had been reported missing. While everyone was looking for him, he just showed up at a terminal and tagged along with another family heading off for a summer holiday, reports The Guardian. Security staff scanned him and everything, but somehow didn’t notice he had no passport or boarding pass.
The boy then made his way to one of the gates where passengers were boarding a flight to Rome, and managed to bypass a security check there as well. Once he was onboard he was home free, apparently, and took a seat. Even a head count failed to alert the crew that something was amiss, and the plane took off to Rome.
During the flight, passengers began to realize something was off about the boy traveling alone, as he kept telling people he was running away from home. Passengers alerted the cabin crew and the captain radioed back to the airport, where police were called. They notified his mother that he was found and safe, it just so happened he was taking a trip to Italy.
Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t allowed to stay and eat gelato to his heart’s content — he was accompanied by flight crew straight back to Manchester and his likely very angry mother.
Statements are abounding, as each party responsible for the boy slipping through security address the situation.
A Manchester airport spokesman said:
“This extremely serious matter is now being urgently investigated. 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.”
Then there’s a spokesman for Jet2.com:
“We are fully investigating the incident as a matter of urgency and the staff involved have been suspended during this investigation.”