Rome Alone: 11-Year-Old Flies 3,000 Miles Without a Passport or Ticket

No, it's not the plot of the next "Home Alone" movie. 11-year-old Liam Corcoran really did evade passport security to fly unaccompanied from Manchester to Rome

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It reads suspiciously like the plot of a Home Alone film. An unaccompanied 11-year-old boy passes through five security checks and heads on a flight from Manchester, England, to Rome without a passport, a boarding pass or even any cash. Astonishingly, this all happened.

Schoolboy Liam Corcoran’s incredible 3,000-mile journey began when he slipped away from his mother while on a shopping trip Tuesday afternoon. He then found his way to Manchester Airport, where he boarded Jet2.com Flight LS791 to Rome.

Less than a week ahead of the Olympic Games, the 11-year-old managed to outmaneuver airport security staff by mingling with several families. Although he was scanned, at no point was he checked for any form of identification nor did airport security officials pick up on the fact that he was traveling alone.

The flight crew was equally oblivious to the presence of the stowaway, failing to take a head count of passengers on board. Jet2.com airline have said that head counts will now become compulsory on their flights. It was only midflight that other passengers noticed Liam’s excitable behavior and relayed their concerns to members of staff.

Fellow passenger Sarah Swayne told the Manchester Evening News, “He was very talkative and seemed quite unfazed by it all. He was just sat there chatting away about how he’d been trying to run away from home.” She added: “He seemed quite innocent really, and I don’t think it had sunk in how serious the situation was.”

At least five airline staff members have been suspended, and a full investigation is under way to determine how, in a period of heightened security, a single child could outfox an entire airport full of security staff. Speaking on BBC News 24 on Wednesday, British Transport Secretary Justine Greening said, “This is an unusual and serious breach, and we are keen to find out what has gone on.”

A Manchester Airport spokesman admitted “it is clear that documentation has not been checked correctly at security and the boarding gate,” and added that “the boy went through full security screening, so the safety of passengers and the aircraft was never compromised.”

Sadly for Liam, his adventure ended when the plane touched down on Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. He was sent back to England immediately and is safely back home with his parents.

This story has been edited to reflect the fact that a head count did not occur on the flight. 

15 comments
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jambouburgess
jambouburgess

Any english boy/man in his right mind would went to live this place...

Beersheva
Beersheva

Cue Alfred Hitchcock: This is what we do to naughty little boys.

Amitavo Mitra
Amitavo Mitra

whats more disconcerting that the officials refuse to admit the total failure of security. security is not just checking for bombs and guns, but also checking that authorized travelers are the only people going through.

harping on the fact that the person passed through multilayered security, hence passengers were safe, is downright shortsighted.

its evident that multiple people at mutiple points failed to account for an extra passenger..let alone a complete lack of any identification.

for all this security talk around olympics, travel within europe remains quite easy.

Skipdallas
Skipdallas

Manchester is 972 miles (as the crow flies) away from Rome Italy. How does this translate to 3000 miles? Even if you counted the return trip, this adds up to less than 2000 miles. Don't ya just love it when some reporter or editor pulls numbers out of their butt to liven up a headline? Or maybe they are just stupid and do not double check the facts on their stories.

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar

it's 3000 kilometers

Timfrk
Timfrk

like Catherine implied I am in shock that a mom can make $9645 in 4 weeks on the computer. have you seen this(Click on menu Home)

Timfrk
Timfrk

Rita implied I am blown away that a student able to profit $4618 in four weeks on the computer. have you seen this (Click on menu Home)

Hans
Hans

 Okay, so I guess the part about getting through security, getting on the plane... I guess that part isn't the important part of the story; it's the fact that someone got their math wrong.

Skipdallas
Skipdallas

Actually, I did not wish to think about the total failure of the security at the airport. There are more than enough people here to rant and rave on that subject.(and rightly so) So I commented on the fact that to make a more interesting headline, the editors saw fit to hype the facts. And for a "News" organization to do these sort of things is never acceptable in the pursuit of accuracy.

Amitavo Mitra
Amitavo Mitra

the round trip is def more than 2000miles..closer to 2600 maybe...3000 just has a nice ring to it!...plus it can be put under editorial leeway!