Woman boards easyJet flight using toddler’s passport

Helen Coffey

A woman flew from the UK to Germany using her toddler’s passport after she packed the wrong travel document.

Lenesha Riley, 33, was flying from Luton Airport to Berlin with easyJet when the mix-up happened.

Unbeknown to Ms Riley, she’d picked up her son Josiah’s passport instead of her own.

Neither airport staff nor easyJet employees noticed the mistake, and Ms Riley only realised her error when she was stopped by border agents at Berlin airport.

She was eventually let into the country after a relative texted a picture of her passport, but she was then stranded with no way of flying home.

Ms Riley was forced to spend £186 to fly her cousin to Berlin with her travel document.

“It is most definitely a security risk,” she said. “It’s scary to think who else could get in and out of the country using a different passport.”

A Luton Airport spokesperson said: “At no point was security at the airport compromised, as all passengers and their luggage must undergo searches mandated by the Department for Transport. Airlines will typically check the passport of a passenger before boarding an aircraft. We’re working with easyJet to understand what happened on this occasion.”

There is no legal requirement for airports to check passenger passports – they are only required to check travellers have a valid boarding card before entering the security screening area.

However, visual checks are made by the airline at the boarding gate and are carried out by the airline’s ground staff.

“EasyJet works closely with all of our airports and partners to ensure the safety and security of all passengers and staff,” a spokesperson for the airline told The Independent.

“We can confirm that the correct passport details had been submitted online in order to gain access to the boarding pass and Miss Riley went through full security screening ahead of the flight’s departure however, the additional visual check carried out prior to boarding should have picked up the passport issue.

“As such we are investigating how she was able to travel from Luton to Berlin with the incorrect documentation.

“EasyJet offered a free of charge transfer to a later return flight so that arrangements could be made to obtain the correct documentation. The safety and security of our passengers and crew is the airline’s highest priority.”

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