Boy who flew to Rome alone sparks nationwide airport security probe
Amy Glendinning July 27, 2012
An airline to a flight from Manchester to Rome is reviewing procedures at all its British airports.
Jet 2 staff failed to notice Liam Corcoran as a headcount of passengers was not carried out after he managed to board the plane.
The airline, which has reinstated the procedure after the youngster’s amazing journey, was one of only a few flying from Manchester not to routinely carry out the check.
Of five budget and package holiday carriers flying from Manchester contacted by the M.E.N, four confirmed they carried out headcounts.
FlyBe, Ryanair, Easyjet and Thomas Cook airlines all say they count passengers before take-off. Monarch declined to comment, only saying that its practices ‘follow Civil Aviation Authority guidelines’.
The practice is not legally required by the CAA – whose rules state the final check can be cabin crew checking boarding cards as passengers get on the plane from a walkway.
It has also now emerged that three Jet 2 staff were suspended after Liam, from Wythenshawe, managed to evade security checks to get on flight LS791 to Rome’s Fiumicino airport. It was originally thought that five workers had been suspended.
Liam, of Boulder Drive, Newall Green, evaded five separate checks to board the plane at Terminal 1 after going to the airport following a row with his mum.
He had no passport or boarding pass, and has revealed that no-one challenged him.
The Button Lane Primary School pupil said: “No-one asked me for anything. Getting on the plane was easier than doing my homework.”
Wearing a Spiderman T-shirt, tracksuit bottoms and flip-flops, he had earlier got on a bus outside Wythenshawe Civic Centre after giving mum Mary, 29, the slip. The pair had rowed over an incident in the swimming baths.
Liam told a national newspaper: “I found a ticket on the floor that had the right day on, so I just sat on the bus. I knew it went to the airport.
“I love planes because of their big wings and I see them fly over my house. But I didn’t want to get on one. I just wanted to go to the toilet.”
Liam spent two hours at the airport in Rome as the plane’s crew were quizzed by Italian authorities.
He was brought back on the return flight and reunited with his relieved mum.
Jet 2 say they are carrying out a top-level inquiry into the lapse. A spokesman said: “We are revising our procedures across all airports.
“We are working closely with the airport and Department for Transport so it is hard to put a time line on [the investigation].
“But we have stepped up our procedures with immediate effect and will review again when we have the outcome of the investigation.”
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