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Entries in Air Travel (3)

Wednesday
Jul252012

Boy, 11, Flies to Rome With No Ticket or Family

Bryan Mullennix/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Authorities are investigating how a solo 11-year-old boy boarded a plane from Manchester, U.K., and arrived in Rome, Italy, with no money or documentation.

The Jet2.com flight departed the Manchester airport Tuesday with the boy onboard. He went through five security checkpoints undetected, an airport spokeswoman confirmed to ABC News. Despite having no boarding pass at security, no boarding pass at the gate, no passport and no boarding pass stub once on the plane, airport workers failed to notice the boy was on his own. Even a headcount onboard the flight failed to detect the child.

Jet2.com is a low-cost U.K. airline that flies to 53 destinations in Eastern and Western Europe.

Staffers have been suspended, pending an investigation.

The Guardian newspaper reports the boy ran away from his mother on Tuesday while she was shopping close to the airport. He apparently made his way to the airport on foot. Once there, he followed another family through the checkpoints and onto the plane.

On the way to Italy, passengers alerted airline crew to the boy. The captain then notified police at Manchester airport, who alerted the boy's mother that he had been found. The boy's mother had reported him missing.

The boy stayed onboard the aircraft once it landed in Rome, according to the newspaper. The other passengers deplaned while the boy was questioned. He remained on the flight, which returned to Manchester, where he was reunited with his mother.

John Greenway, a spokesman for Manchester airport, told the newspaper: "We know that people are not very happy about it. The investigation will look at how this has happened. Jet2 will be looking at how this boy got on that aircraft."

"He's evaded checks. He did go through the metal detector and didn't sound any alarms. He wasn't a danger to any of the passengers," he continued.

The breech shines a light on potential cracks in security as the 2012 Olympics in London kicks off later this week. Earlier this month, Britain's The Observer published a report quoting border officials as saying known terror suspects had slipped through airport security at London's Heathrow international airport.

Government officials told ABC News that report was not accurate, but said an independent auditor had claimed there are many new, hastily trained guards at the airport who sometimes do not question travelers as diligently as they should.

On Tuesday, British officials called up an additional 1,200 soldiers today to try and fix what they called a security "fiasco" with G4S, the private security firm tasked to secure the 2012 Olympic Games, but British security officials tell ABC News even though they are finally getting the number of guards they need, they are still not confident in the training that G4S guards received or the security they can provide.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul102012

Egyptian Couple Arrested for Smuggling Baby in Luggage

Thomas Northcut/Thinkstock(SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates) -- An Egyptian couple’s attempt to sneak their infant son past airport security and into the United Arab Emirates ended in their arrest after the baby was discovered stuffed inside their carry-on bag.

The couple, who have not been named, were told Saturday by customs officials at the Sharjah International Airport that they could not enter the UAE yet because they did not have a visa for their son, according to a report on GulfNews.com.

The parents, said to be in their mid-30s, then zipped the boy, described in reports as between 5 months and 1 years old, inside a carry-on bag and got in a line for security anyhow.  Carry-on luggage is typically scanned at airports in the UAE on arrival.

Their plan was halted by a shocked security official who spotted the baby in the bag as it went through the X-ray scanner.

“When customs officials saw the baby inside the bag at the X-ray scanner, they were stunned,” a police official told Gulf News.  “This machine is very dangerous for anyone, let alone a baby in a bag to pass through.”

The couple was arrested at the scene and charged with endangering the life of the child and infiltration, according to Sun News.  The couple admitted to the act under police interrogation, saying they attempted to sneak their son through inside a bag because they “wanted to have him with them in the UAE,” a Sharjah police spokesperson told the paper.

The couple, according to Al Arabiya, had traveled to Egypt so their son could be born there, but then wanted to return to the UAE, where they had previously resided illegally.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan022011

Napolitano to Israel to Survey Airport Security

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will travel to Israel Monday to meet with airport security experts.

Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport is considered one of the most secure in the world, but officials there don't rely on the latest digital X-ray machines and they do not make pat downs mandatory. They base their success on something which many consider controversial: human intelligence -- teams of trained security personnel who profile passengers.

From suspicious behavior to a person's nationality, profiling is a method endorsed by Israeli airport officials. Every passenger is questioned in-depth at check-in; some are pulled aside for further questioning and strip searches.

Human rights groups have called Israel's methods discriminatory because they affect non-Jewish and Arab travelers most.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio