Most 11 year old boys can end up in some sort of altercation with their family. Sometimes they have been known to run away as a result. Not many can do it by slipping away from their family and ending up on an international flight – without reservation, passport or boarding pass.
Liam Corcoran was with his mother at Wythenshawe Civic shopping Centre. He ran away from her and travelled the 5km (3miles) to Manchester airport on a bus, after finding a ticket on the floor of the shopping centre. Liam was reported missing by his parents to the police at lunchtime.
At the airport, Liam needed the toilet so he went into Terminal 1 of the Airport to find it. At 115pm, he follows a family through security and immigration. No one asked to see his boarding pass or travel documentation. An airport spokesman explained that: “He was with a large group of other children, he appeared to be in a family group – for whatever reason he wasn’t checked.” The spokesman reassured passengers that Liam experienced the full security screening (one assumes he had no luggage, no laptop, no phone and no metal objects). He then boarded Rome Bound Jet2 flight LS 791 with a scheduled departure of 235pm with no Boarding pass.
Staff did not do a headcount (apparently not mandatory when the plane departs from an air bridge) and the plane departed. During the two hour flight, some passengers raised the alarm that the boy seemed to be ravelling alone. The captain radioed back to Manchester airport where police were informed. The police contacted Liam’s mum to tell her where he was! On his return journey, crew accompanied him.
Liam’s father, Aaron Fort, 34, said his son had “been a bit petrified by the enormity of it all“. I wonder at what point his curiosuity moved to fear or was he travelling with a mix of both the whole way?
Some airport workers were suspended over the security breach and three separate investigations were established to establish how the boy was able to evade security and get on a plane.
At least the kid wasn’t flying with a gun filled Teddy Bear.