A runaway seven-year-old girl slipped through security checks at Geneva Airport in Switzerland and onto a plane without a ticket before a crew member spotted her and handed her over to police, an official said .
Bertrand Stampfli, head of communication for Geneva airport, said in statement that the incident was “eminently regrettable” and acknowledged it could have turned out worse.
Airport authorities said they are reinforcing measures to ensure that children are accompanied by adults when passing through security checks at the airport which lies on the Swiss border with France.
In the Oct. 29 incident, the girl, who was not identified, had slipped away from her parents at Geneva’s main railway station and traveled a few minutes by train to the airport.
She was apprehended after authorities established through video surveillance that she had slipped through security just over 30 minutes earlier.
The girl repeatedly “took advantage of her small size” and dodging through a barrier with a “ruse” to make it look like she was traveling with adults ahead of her or behind her, Stampfli said.
She failed to get through security in her first attempt, but “a second time, she managed to maneuver around an open lane by sneaking into a passage accessible only to a child of her size,” said the official.
Stampfli said that an alert air crew member, who had spotted the girl trying to board one of its flights, flagged her to the crew of the airline, which in turn alerted police, Swissinfo, the website of the Swiss national broadcaster reported.
The airport official said, “What this shows is that while controls for adults and accompanied children are effective, there are holes to fill when it comes to unaccompanied children.”