Boy Proves Airlines Are Too Lax With A Solo Trip Overseas

Airlines have had one too many stories in the headlines. There was the tragic death of a mother, the man who was dragged out of seat by security, emergency landings and even, the death of a beloved pet.

In all of these cases, the issue was not the how the passenger boarded the plane in the first place, but events that occurred after a legitimate boarding.

Unfortunately, now we have children that board international flights alone with no parental permission to add to the list of airline concerns.

A 12 year-old Australian boy they are calling “Drew” was shockingly able to not only book a flight by himself, but board a plane, get through customs, and check into a hotel.

Romper reported:

“According to People, an Australian boy used his mom’s credit card to book a flight from his hometown of Sydney to Bali, Indonesia and was actually able to check himself into a luxury hotel before his plan was foiled. As the publication reported, the family only realized he was missing when the school called to alert his mother of his absence.”

The basis of this story may remind you of the classic family flick “Home Alone” urging many media agencies to refer to Drew as the modern day Macaulay Culkin.

Disregarding the humorous similarities, this is a scary and concerning story. How was a minor able to see such an elaborate getaway to the end? And why did he leave in the first place?

It all began with a fight the boy had with his mother, over an undisclosed reason.

According to the Washington Post, Drew’s mother reported that “He just doesn’t like the word ‘no.’ And that’s what I got, a kid in Indonesia,”

Drew was resourceful and sly as he snuck his mom’s credit card, packed a backpack, and convinced his grandmother that he needed his passport.

While at the airport, Drew learned the hard way that he could not board certain airlines without written permission from a parent.

After being rejected by Garuda Indonesia and Qantas Airways, according to 9 News, Drew attempted one more airline successfully.

Jetstar Airways, an Australian airline, allowed minors to fly internationally without parental consent, so Drew printed his boarding pass from a self-service kiosk and went aboard.

The adventure did not stop there for the Culkin wannabe, and once in Bali he continued his luxury vacation.

The Washington Post reported:

Once on the Indonesian island, nearly 3,000 miles away from his home in Sydney, the child managed to check into a room at a beachside resort, where he stayed for four days. There, he reportedly drank a beer, enjoyed the hotel pool and at least once flaunted his solo adventure on social media — before a geotagged video gave his location away and authorities (and his displeased parents) came to pick him up.”

To many people’s amazement, this is not the first time Drew has tried to fly to Bali, where his family has vacationed before.

Past attempts were stifled, but Drew’s parents didn’t stop there. They had warned the Australian Federal Police (AFP) that their son may try to fly to Bali.

But, the AFP had their hands tied with limitations brought on by current legislation.

The Washington Post reported:

An AFP spokesman confirmed to The Washington Post that the agency was notified on March 8 that the boy might attempt to travel internationally from Sydney Airport. However, the agency added they did not place an alert on the boy that would have prevented international travel because he had no criminal record.”

Australian law says that children can travel alone with their passport, and any necessary visas.

Drew’s mother, Emma, was told by authorities that his passport was going to be flagged, according to 9 News, which apparently never happened.

Customs and Immigration does question minors flying alone, but Drew simply lied to them, saying that his mother lived in Bali and that he was meeting her there.

This convincing tale was not looked into, and Drew was easily ushered through Customs and Immigration.

Jetstar, the airline that you could fly no questions asked at any age, has since “changed its policies to require parental permission even for minors older than 12”according to The Washington Post.

The $6,100 trip of rebellion has brought a lot of scrutiny to the airline industry, as well as to the parents of the runaway.

While the airlines are correcting issues on their end, there is more that can be done in the home.

We must take responsibility for our children while under our care. It is a parent’s honored right to raise their children, and we shouldn’t hand off such privileges to others, or institutions.

Please let us know in the comments section if you think the airlines or the parents are at fault, and how the situation could be prevented in the future.

 

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