Heathrow Police are investigating how a 12-year old boy was able to board a British Airways flight to Los Angeles without ticket yesterday.
The child was not with his parents when the incident happened. He had no travel documents and was spotted onboard the aircraft when the cabin crew asked to see a boarding pass to show him to his seat.
He refused to cooperate and also to leave the aircraft. Eventually, the police were called to remove the boy.
The aircraft had to be cleared and passengers forced to have a second security check, resulting in a delay of more than 4 hours.
A British Airways spokesman said to The Telegraph: “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.”
Rachel Richardson, heading to Los Angeles on a business trip, described chaotic scenes, she said, also to 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 to The Telegraph: “A 12-year-old boy boarded a BA flight from Heathrow to Los Angeles at around 17:15 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 deplaned following a discussion between police and the captain. The child is believed to have arrived at Heathrow as a transit passenger.”
Finally a Heathrow spokesperson said to The Telegraph: “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.”