On Tuesday 11-year-old Liam Corcoran fooled Manchester Airport security and staff members of Jet2.com Airline when he boarded a flight to Rome without a passport or boarding pass by tagging along with another family.
It wasn’t until the flight had taken off from Manchester that the flight crew realized there was an extra passenger on board. Other passengers had expressed concern for Corcoran when they noticed he was by himself and asked the flight crew who he was with.
Upon landing in Italy, the flight crew kept Corcoran aboard the plane and flew him back to Manchester that evening, where he was greeted by his mother and police.
An investigation is now underway at Manchester airport and at least five staff members of Jet2.com have been suspended.
“I take any breach of security very very seriously,” UK Transport Secretary Justine Greening told the BBC. “So we are investigating with Manchester Airport, and indeed the airline, to find out exactly what happened. This is an unusual and serious breach and we are keen to find out what has gone on.”
The Guardian reports that Corcoran had run away from his mother at a shopping mall near the airport. He traveled to the airport on foot.
Passenger Sarah Swayne, 26, told the Manchester Evening News: “He was very talkative and seemed quite unfazed by it all. He was just sat there chatting away about how he’d been trying to run away from home. He seemed quite innocent really and I don’t think it sunk in how serious the situation was.”