An investigation has been launched at Manchester Airport after 11-year-old Liam Corcoran managed to fly to Rome on his own without a passport or a boarding pass. Here is a list of the various security checks he was able to bypass.
1. After purchasing a flight ticket, passengers travelling to most EU states must provide various details to their airline. Advance Passenger Information requirements vary, but this typically includes your name, date of birth, gender, passport number, and date of passport expiration.
2. Upon arrival at the airport, passengers who must show their passport at the check-in desk in able to receive their boarding pass. Those who have checked in online will have already answered a series of security questions and can head straight through security. Liam Corcoran, who had run away from his mother during a shopping trip at the nearby Wythenshawe Civic Centre before making his own way to the airport, simply followed another family to the security gates.
3. Passengers must show security staff their boarding pass and passport. They will also sometimes have their photo taken.
4. Passengers are then scanned for potentially dangerous items. Liquids must be placed in a clear plastic bag - at Manchester Airport passengers are charged £1 to buy one of these. The airport says Liam was scanned, meaning no other passengers were at risk, but no-one realised he was travelling alone, or was not carrying a boarding pass or documentation.
5. At some airports, passengers must show their passport to staff again before they can enter the waiting lounge.
6. At the boarding gate, passengers must again show their passport and boarding pass to airline staff. Liam boarded Jet2.com’s flight LS791 to Rome without any checks by the carrier.
7. Upon boarding the aircraft, cabin crew will ask passengers to show their boarding pass stub, and will then be directed to their seat. Liam was not asked to do so – he simply climbed aboard and found himself a seat.
8. Cabin crew will typically carry out a final head count, ensuring that the number of passengers and the number of boarding cards match up. It appears that Jet2.com crew failed to do so accurately. Liam was only discovered to be alone after the plane was on its way to Fiumicino Airport in Rome, when a fellow passenger became concerned. Crew members informed the captain, who relayed a message to Manchester Airport. Upon arrival in Italy, Liam was asked to stay on board the aircraft before it returned to Manchester.