How could this happen? Man ‘flew from London to New York without ticket or passport’

Man flies to New York without ticket
By Linsey McNeill
12/02/2024
Home » How could this happen? Man ‘flew from London to New York without ticket or passport’

An investigation has been launched at London Heathrow Airport after a jobless man allegedly boarded a British Airways’ flight to New York without any documentation.

The 46-year-old is accused of avoiding the airport’s security checks and slipping past staff at the gate to take an empty seat on the flight on 23 December.

Craig Sturt got all the way to the US before anyone spotted that he shouldn’t have been on the plane.

Staff at JFK airport blocked him from entering the country when he was reportedly unable to show a passport and officials escorted him back to Heathrow, where he was arrested on Christmas Day last year.

He was later charged with obtaining services by deception, being unlawfully airside, and boarding an aircraft without permission and was due to appear at Uxbridge Magistrates Court, but he was reported missing by police on 25 January.

Sturt was since re-arrested, at 8am today (12 Feb) in Richmond, London, for failing to appear in court and taken into custody.

When asked how Sturt managed to slip through its security, BA issued a one-line statement saying: “We are assisting the authorities with their investigation,” before referring further media enquiries to the Met Police and Heathrow Airport.

It did not say if it had carried out its own internal investigation, or whether staff at the gate at Heathrow, who carry out final passport and boarding pass checks, were employed directly by BA or a third party.

Heathrow Airport has issued a statement saying: “All people who go airside are subject to security screening, including the individual involved in this case. We are supporting the authorities with their ongoing investigation.”

It clarified that by ‘security screening’ it meant Sturt went through its scanners, but it did not say how he allegedly slipped through the airport’s boarding pass check.

A Met Police spokesperson said the questions about the security breach ‘are primarily for the airport, the airline and Border Force’.

*Article was updated on 12/02/2024 at 12pm

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