London: An 11-year-old boy in Britain boarded a flight to Rome without a passport, boarding card or ticket by apparently tagging on to another family, prompting authorities to launch an investigation.
Liam Corcoran had apparently run away from his mother while she was shopping at the Wythenshawe civic centre, close to Manchester airport, on Tuesday and had been reported missing.
When he arrived at terminal one, he followed another family, going unnoticed with thousands of people heading off on their summer holidays. Security staff scanned him but failed to realise he was on his own and had no boarding card, passport, tickets or money, the Guardian reported.
The boy then arrived in the departure lounge and headed to one of the gates where passengers were boarding Jet2.Com flight LS791 to Rome. He managed to bypass a security check at the gate without being asked to show either a passport or a boarding card.
Once on the aircraft, none of the crew realised he did not have a boarding card as he took a seat. A headcount failed to alert them to the discrepancy.
The jet took off as normal and it was only during the journey to Italy that passengers became suspicious of the boy and told the cabin crew. The crew members alerted the captain who radioed back to Manchester.
Police at Manchester airport then called the boy`s mother to tell her that her son had been found safe and well but that he was on a plane travelling to Italy.
The plane landed at Fiumicino airport in Rome where the boy was asked to remain on board while the other passengers left the aircraft. He remained on the plane, accompanied by flight crew, as it took off again to return to Manchester.
Manchester airport and Jet2.Com have launched a full-scale investigation into how the boy managed to evade so many checks and end up in Italy. It is understood five members of staff working for Jet2.Com have been suspended from duty while the investigation takes place.