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A seven-year-old girl managed to board an airplane headed from Switzerland to France without a ticket.
According to the girl’s father, the girl ran away from her parents and went to a nearby train station. There, she rode a train to the Geneva Airport. The girl was able to sneak into a plane because showing one’s passport is not mandatory in the area. She also took advantage of her small stature to enter the departure gate unnoticed.
Initially, she tried to board the plane by following a crew member in, but she was turned back. On her second attempt, she managed to pass herself off as the child of some adults boarding the plane.
The girl’s escapade had been caught on security cameras, so the police were able to track her. An airline crew member also spotted the girl while the plane was still grounded. The crew member handed the girl over to the police, and she was later reunited with her parents.
After the incident, a Geneva Airport spokesperson said that the airport will tighten its security and boarding procedures.
According to the US Federal Aviation Administration, there have been more than a hundred cases of stowaways involving adults and teenagers worldwide since 1947. In another incident, a 15-year-old boy managed to stow away from California to Hawaii in 2014. For more than five hours, he hid inside the plane’s wheel well, which is where the wheels are kept while a plane is in flight. He survived the extremely cold temperature and the thin oxygen during the flight. When the boy was found, he was not charged a criminal case but was instead hospitalized for the health damages he acquired.