By now you may have heard about the 9-year-old boy who took a little trip on an airplane without a ticket. Actually, it was a pretty big trip – from Minneapolis to Las Vegas – but hardly the most unusual stowaway story in memory.
9-Year-Old’s Flight to Vegas
In the most recent adventure, a 9-year-old boy got past the Minneapolis airport’s TSA security lines as well as the gate agent to board a Delta flight to Las Vegas – all apparently without benefit of ticket or boarding pass. All involved say they’re still trying to figure out how he did it. The boy is believed to be a runaway whose saga came to an end when the flight crew “became suspicious.” He was turned over the Child Protective Services upon arrival in Las Vegas.
But this wasn’t the first time a kid fooled the airlines.
Another 9-Year-Old’s a Trip to Texas
In 2007, another 9-year-old flew Southwest from Seattle to San Antonio, also without benefit of boarding pass (or anything resembling a ticket). This resourceful child went the Vegas boy one better by driving to the airport. Unfortunately, he was caught and had to take a bus the next day but did get on the plane – and took two flights – before ultimately being found out and sent home.
11-Year-Old Flies to Rome
Back in the summer of 2012, a British lad decided there must be something better to do than shopping at a Manchester mall with Mom, and there was: A plane trip to Rome. The 11-year-old boarded a Jet2 plane without a ticket and wasn’t discovered until the flight was well on its way to Fiumicino Airport. Unfortunately, there was no time to dine at a trattoria as he was immediately cornered and flown home. It is not known if he was punished with another mall excursion.
Most Gruesome Stowaway Passenger
As FareCompare reported back in 2010, two women tried to board an EasyJet flight out of Liverpool with an unusual traveling companion: A corpse. They almost made it, possibly because the dead man (their father) was bundled up nicely and even sported a pair of sunglasses. No foul play was suspected; it was apparently just cheaper to buy Dad a ticket rather than pay the charge for transporting human remains.
This happens all the time, but is rarely initiated by the creatures themselves (unless you count those snakes that seem to love flying Qantas). One of the more original stowaway schemes was set in motion by a man who filled his trousers with various living things which led to the memorable headline, “Primate in Pants.”
And what’s your favorite stowaway story? We’d love to hear.