Geneva, Switzerland: In a glaring security breach which Geneva airport spokesperson, Bertrand Staempfli, called an “unprecedented event”, a seven-year-old girl boarded an EasyJet flight destined for Ajaccio in France, on her own, after breezing through security without a ticket at Geneva Airport.
Prior to that, the little girl had travelled alone on a train to her destination.
The child apparently got lost near Geneva’s central railway station on Sunday. Her parents immediately called the police, but the girl had already set off on her adventure without attracting the attention of adult commuters.
She boarded a train to get to the airport, where she made two attempts to board a plane. At first, she was turned back as she tried to follow the flight crew and ran away when she was spotted, pretending to re-join her parents, according to a statement by airport spokesperson Bertrand Staempfli.
At the second attempt, the girl managed to board the aircraft by slipping through a passage “only accessible to a child of that size” and took her place on the plane without being noticed, the spokesperson said. The seven-year old was spotted at the last moment by a staff member, as her route had been tracked by airport security on CCTV cameras.
Local media reports that the child has autism have not been confirmed.
The airport spokesperson called the incident an “unprecedented event” and said that measures have been implemented to avoid such incidents in future. “We must acknowledge that the current system is efficient for adults and accompanied children but that it must take better account of the weaknesses that could let a child slip through, as this unprecedented and regrettable incident has shown,” Staempfli stated.