9 Kids Travel Alone

Kids Who Managed To Travel Alone

1. 9-Year-Old Runaway Flies to Vegas Without a Boarding Pass

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His mother thought he was playing at a friend’s house. In fact, the nine-year-old had taken a lightrail train to the Minneapolis airport, slipped past the check-in counter and boarded a flight to Las Vegas. He told the increasingly suspicious flight crew that his parents were seated at the back of the plane.

A quick check of the roster revealed that he never should have boarded the plane in the first place. The boy was taken into custody by Child Protective Services in Las Vegas.

One official who had worked for the airport for 13 years told NBC News, “I’ve never seen a case like this before.”

2. UPDATE 1-Teenager survives flight over Pacific in jet wheel well - FBI

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April 21 (Reuters) - A teenage boy who ran away from home survived a five-hour flight in the freezing wheel well of a jetliner that reached 38,000 feet (11,582 metres) as it traveled from California to Hawaii, the FBI said.

The 16-year-old, from Santa Clara, California, quickly lost consciousness as temperatures in the compartment sank as low as minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (62 degrees Celsius below zero), said FBI special agent Tom Simon.

About an hour after the plane landed on Sunday morning, the boy regained consciousness and emerged onto the tarmac at the airport in Maui, where he was spotted by ground crew.

“It’s just an apparent miracle ... There was no appearance of any special gear of any sort,” said Simon.

The stowaway told FBI officials that he had run away from home, climbed a fence at the airport in San Jose, California, crossed the tarmac and crawled into the wheel well of Hawaiian Airlines flight 45.

“His story checked out,” and no federal charges were filed, said Simon, of the FBI’s Honolulu office.

The boy was turned over to local child protection officials, and a medical examination showed he appeared to have been unharmed by the ordeal.

The flying time from San Jose to Hawaii was more than five hours.

“Our primary concern now is for the well-being of the boy, who is exceptionally lucky to have survived,” Hawaiian Airlines said in a statement. (Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Robert Birsel)

3. Boy, 11, hops plane to Rome without ticket or passport

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Many kids manage to slip away from their parents in shopping centers during summer vacations, but an 11-year-old boy from Manchester, England, got farther away than most this week.

He went to Manchester Airport, snuck past passport control and boarding pass checks, went though a metal detector and was on a plane halfway to Rome before anyone realized there was anything unusual going on, an airport spokesman said Wednesday.

Read more: Are airport body scanners safe?

The boy was reported missing on Tuesday at 12:40 p.m. after his mother lost track of him at a shopping center in Wythenshawe, police said.

His plane took off an hour and 20 minutes later from Manchester Airport, about two miles from the shopping center.

"He had run off from his mum," said airport spokesman John Greenway.

"He got himself to the airport. It looks like he evaded some passport checks and some boarding pass checks and ended up in Rome," Greenway said.

He was noticed while the flight was in the air and sent back home when the plane returned to England, Greenway said.

"Flight crew and the Italian authorities made sure he stayed on the plane. He left here yesterday at 2 p.m. and got home about 9 p.m.," Greenway said.

Airport staff members have been suspended and an investigation is under way, he said.

The airport insists that the incident was not a security breach.

"The boy went through full security screening so the safety of passengers and the aircraft was never compromised," the airport said in a statement.

Greater Manchester Police said no crime had been committed.

4. JetBlue lost my son! Airline sends boy, five, to Boston on the wrong flight while his mother waits for him in New York... then presents her with the someone else's child

A horrified mother was presented with the wrong child at JFK airport - after bungling airline staff put her five-year-old son on a flight to Boston.

Maribel Martinez, 38, was waiting in New York for her son, Andy, to return home from a family visit in the Dominican Republic.

But after the mix-up, Andy ended up 214 miles away after another boy was mistakenly put on the plane to New York.

His terrified mother was beside herself with worry when JetBlue staff met her with the wrong boy to which she replied 'this is not my child!'

Recalling the ordeal she said: 'I thought he was kidnapped. I thought I would never see him again.'

The other child had been carrying Andy's passport and was mistakenly put on the flight to New York - while Andy ended up in Boston. 

This was despite the fact Ms Martinez had paid an extra $100 fee for a JetBlue representative to escort him onto the plane.

The unidentified boy they thought was her son was questioned by Port Authority police in New York, while JetBlue tried to track down Andy following the shambolic mix-up on August 17.

Speaking to the New York Daily News, Ms Martinez said: 'I was freaking out. I didn't know if he was alive. I still haven't stopped crying.'

After a frantic three hours trying to locate Andy, he was finally found and put on the phone to his mother.
He told her 'Mami, they put me on another plane', she recalled.

Both children were later returned to their correct destinations.

The furious mother has now hired a lawyer to take action against the airline for their negligence.

JetBlue refunded her $475 for the flight and also gave the family $2,100 in credit for future flights. However the family have vowed to never use the airline again.

A spokesman said in a statement: 'Two unaccompanied children of the same age traveling separately from Santiago, Dominican Republic, one to New York JFK and one to Boston — each boarded a flight to the incorrect destination.

'Upon learning of the error, our teams in JFK and Boston immediately took steps to assist the children in reaching their correct destinations.

'While the children were always under the care and supervision of JetBlue crew members, we realize this situation was distressing for their families.'

5. German lovers – aged six and five – try to elope to Africa

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It is a dream that has been shared by lovers across the centuries – the chance to elope to exotic lands. But few would have been as bold and spontaneous as six-year-old Mika and his five-year-old sweetheart Anna-Bell who, after mulling over their options in secret, packed their suitcases on New Year's Eve and set off from the German city of Hanover to tie the knot under the heat of the African sun.

The children left their homes at dawn while their unwitting parents were apparently sleeping, and took along Mika's seven-year-old sister, Anna-Lena, as a witness to the wedding.

Donning sunglasses, swimming armbands and dragging a pink blow-up lilo and suitcases on wheels packed with summer clothes, cuddly toys and a few provisions, they walked a kilometre up the road, boarded a tram to Hanover train station and got as far as the express train that would take them to the airport before a suspicious station guard alerted police.

"What struck us was that the little ones were completely on their own and that they had lots of swimming gear with them," said Holger Jureczko, a police spokesman. He described Mika and Anna-Bell as "sweethearts" who had "decided to get married in Africa where it is warm, taking with them as a witness Mika's sister".

Anna-Bell told the German television station RTL: "We wanted to get married and so we just thought: 'Let's go there.' "

Mika said: "We wanted to take the train to the airport, then we wanted to get on a plane and when we arrived we wanted to unpack the summer things and then we wanted to go for a bit of a stroll in the sun."

Mika and Anna-Lena's mother, who was not identified, said she had known nothing of her children's plan. "I'm still in a state of shock. I thought 'I'm playing a part in a bad movie.' When we realised the kids were missing we went looking for them." But only when the police called did they realise what had happened.

Asked why they failed to let their parents know, the children said they thought they would not be gone for long.

Mika told police he instigated the plan having been inspired by a winter holiday with his family in Italy. "Based on this the children began to make plans for the future," Jureczko said.

To allay their disappointment at being caught, Hanover police gave them a tour of the police headquarters. Jureczko said: "They'll have the chance to put their plan into action at a later date".

6. The 9-year-old who stole a car and later boarded a plane

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In 2007, Washington resident 9-year old Semaj Booker really, really wanted to see his grandfather in Texas. He stole a car (which he learned how to do from playing video games), and led police on a high-speed chase. They quickly caught up with him and brought him home.

The next morning, Semaj snuck out of his house and took a bus to the Seattle airport. He went to the Southwest ticket counter and gave a fake name. According to this mother, he told the ticket agent his last name is "Williams." The agent looked at her computer and said, "Frank Williams?" Semaj answered, "Yep," and off he went with a boarding pass with the same name.

He got through security with no issues, because children don't need a photo ID. Semaj hopped on a plane that stopped briefly in Phoenix before heading to San Antonio. He tried to get on a third flight for Dallas to visit additional family members, but Southwest figured out something wasn't right and called airport police.

7. The teenager who tried to go from the U.S. to England in a submarine

17-year old American Barbara McVay wanted to go to England in 1966. Her dad was stationed with the Air Force in the U.K, and, as she told The Sarasota Journal newspaper, "I like English boys." One problem: Barbara lived in Baltimore. So she did what any teen would do, and stowed away on a Britain-bound submarine that was visiting Baltimore. The 1,600-ton submarine (called the Walrus) had been at sea for four hours when Barbara left her hiding place, feeling groggy from carbon monoxide. Crew members say it's good she left when she did because she would have drowned when that compartment filled with water. The Walrus turned around and brought Barbara straight back home.

8. How two Dublin kids ran away from home to NYC

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Have you heard the amazing story of how two runaway Dublin kids jumped on a commuter train in Dublin for an adventure and ended up in New York a day later?

A radio documentary by RTE, Ireland’s national station, traced how Keith Byrne (10) and Noel Murray (13) from Darndale, a tough Dublin suburb, escaped authorities in three countries back in 1985.

Keith recalled in the interview, “My mum said: ‘don’t go far, your dinner’s nearly ready,’ ” he recalled. “I said: ‘I won’t.’ ”

They jumped a commuter train to the port of Dún Laoghaire and sneaked onto a ferry bound for Holyhead in Wales.

From there they caught the train to London and connected with a subway train to Heathrow Airport.

Once there they asked a random passenger where his plane was going and he told them New York. They told the ticket checker and security their parents were behind them, and boarded the Air India plane.

“The plane was only half full so no one came near us,” Keith recalls.

Amazingly, just  two months earlier, an Air India jet had blown up off the southwest of Ireland, killing 329 people.

Byrne says he was unable to eat a very hot Indian curry, but watched the James Bond film ‘A View to a Kill.’

Their journey came to an end when they left JFK Airport and asked a cop the way “into town.”

They were taken to a police station and immediately became celebrities. Their exploits made the front page of the New York newspapers. Authorities were taking no chances and they were put in a hotel suite with five security guards.

“There was BLTs, chips, everything, fed us like lords. We loved it,” said Byrne. Byrne is now 35 and Murray is 37.

Both still live in the same north Dublin suburb, but they have drifted apart.

Byrne says there is no way you could get away with such behavior now. “I don’t think there’d be any chance that you’d get away with it nowadays with everything that’s going on with the planes and the security that they have. They wouldn’t fall for that old trick of ‘my mam’s coming behind me,’” said Byrne.

He said he still has his his sense of adventure. “I love traveling to different places and me and my partner go off on drives to Kilkenny and Carlow still and bring the kids off on walks around to experience the countryside.

“I still have that kind of adventurous side to me.”

9. Airport security fears as child WITHOUT ticket or ID gets on plane and flies 450 miles

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Airport bosses are to review checks after the little girl made her way onto the flight.

Despite being on her own and never taking a flight before, she managed to sneak onto a plane without a ticket or ID.

The child mingled with a large crowd and made her way onto a Rossiya Airlines flight from Vnukovo Airport, near Moscow to Pulkovo Airport, St Petersburg.

The child made the 450 mile journey completely alone and was only found when her parents realised she had not come home from school.

Airport staff failed to check the child’s ID and assumed she belonged to a large family who were travelling on the plane.

Flight attendants also failed to notice the girl was travelling on her own without ID or a ticket.

The schoolgirl, reportedly was curious and wanted to see St Petersburg but when she landed after the hour-long flight she decided to stay in the arrivals hall.

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