A British man boarded a flight to NYC without a passport or a boarding pass by tailgating behind unsuspecting passengers, report says

A British man boarded a flight to NYC without a passport or a boarding pass by tailgating behind unsuspecting passengers, report says
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A British man boarded a flight to NYC without a passport or a boarding pass by tailgating behind unsuspecting passengers, report says
Passengers line up to go through security in departures at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport.

  • A British man flew from London to New York without a boarding pass or passport.
  • He bypassed security checks at Heathrow Airport by tailgating unsuspecting passengers, reports say.
  • After being returned to the UK, he then went missing from a hospital, one report said.

A British man flew to New York from London without a boarding pass or passport by tailgating unsuspecting passengers, according to reports.

Craig Sturt, 46, arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport on Christmas Eve, one of the busiest travel days of the year, the Evening Standard reported.

He skipped check-in and went straight to the boarding pass security gates at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, walking through the automatic gates behind another passenger, according to The Sun.

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The outlet reported that Sturt used the tailgating strategy to get through a series of security checkpoints and passport control without needing to show any paperwork.

It said that Sturt then boarded a bus from the British Airways departure lounge, gaining access to the flight without a boarding pass.

Sturt was eventually caught out after touching down at John F. Kennedy International Airport, it said, when he could not present any identification to US officials.

The Evening Standard reported that Sturt was returned to the UK and charged on suspicion of fraud and aviation security offenses.

According to The Sun, the security breach has led to the UK’s Home Office seeking answers as to how such an incident occurred.

The Home Office declined a Business Insider request for comment, referring the request to London’s Metropolitan Police.

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But a source close to the Home Office told the Evening Standard that “heads will roll.”

The unnamed source said: “It’s staggering this could happen. It doesn’t bear thinking about what might have happened if a terrorist had successfully boarded a flight undetected.”

They described it as a “major embarrassment” for Heathrow, the UK’s border officials, and British Airways.

In a statement provided to Business Insider, a BA spokesperson said the airline is “assisting the authorities with their investigation.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “All people who go airside are subject to security screening, including the individual involved in this case.”

The spokesperson added: “We are supporting the authorities with their ongoing investigation.”

Since the incident, Thames Valley Police has issued an alert for Sturt, who went missing from a hospital where he was being treated on mental health grounds, according to The Sun.

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Thames Valley Police referred BI to the Metropolitan Police, saying the force is running the missing-person investigation. The Metropolitan Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In an interview with The Sun, Sturt’s brother, Lee Smith, said his family was shocked by the incident, especially since his brother doesn’t own a passport.

“It’s ridiculous this could happen,” he told the newspaper, adding: “If Craig, with a troubled past, could dodge security, then presumably anyone else with sinister motives could do the same.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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