Published on Monday, July 15, 2019

Boy evades Heathrow security to board US-bound BA flight

Police are investigating how a 12-year-old boy slipped through security and boarded a British Airways flight to Los Angeles without a ticket or boarding pass on Sunday evening.

The unaccompanied child was rumbled when cabin crew asked to see his boarding pass in order to direct him to his seat.

The boy, who is believed to be Dutch, was travelling on his own and refused to leave the aircraft when he was challenged, according to the Daily Telegraph. He was eventually removed by police.

The aircraft then had to be cleared and all passengers were security checked, delaying the flight by more than four hours.

It's thought the boy was a transit passenger who had a ticket to an onward destination, but had then attempted to see if he how far he could get.

Passenger Rachel Richardson, who was heading to Los Angeles on a business trip, told the Telegraph: "The boy would not speak to the cabin crew and they were asking if anybody spoke Dutch. He would not help them understand where his bags were so the whole aircraft had to be cleared which meant we were almost more than four hours delayed taking off. It was very frustrating."

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "A 12-year-old boy boarded a BA flight from Heathrow to Los Angeles at around 17:15hrs on 14 July.  

"He was identified by cabin crew during pre-flight check. He did not have a ticket or any travel documents.  

"The boy was an unaccompanied minor. He is not a UK national. As a security precaution, passenger de-planed following a discussion between police and the captain.  

"The child is believed to have arrived at Heathrow as a transit passenger."

A Heathrow spokesperson said: "We are working with our police colleagues and British Airways to understand how an unauthorised passenger boarded the incorrect aircraft.

"The individual did not represent a security risk and, purely as a precaution, the aircraft in question was re-screened and has since departed. We apologise for the disruption and will continue working closely with the authorities and our airline partners to keep the airport safe."

A BA spokesperson said: "We have apologised to our customers for the delay to their flight after an issue during boarding.  

"The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and everyone who had boarded the aircraft had been subject to security checks. 

"We conducted additional precautionary screening as soon as this issue came to light and we are assisting the police with their enquiries."

Image by Joe Breuer from Pixabay

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