Enquiry to determine how man flew London-New York without passport or ticket

A passenger at the window of London Heathrow Airport terminal
Photo Credit: London Heathrow Airport

An investigation has now been launched to determine how a man boarded a British Airways international flight from London to New York without either a ticket or a passport.

The investigation centres around a 46-year-old man who had apparently managed to pass through both security checkpoints and passport control without presenting mandatory documents at London Heathrow (LHR) Airport on 23 December 2023.

Returned from New York to UK

The man subsequently boarded the British Airways flight bound for New York JFK, where he was subsequently intercepted on arrival and returned to the United Kingdom.

Upon his arrival back in the UK, he was subsequently arrested and charged with offences under the UK Aviation Security Act.

The British man apparently managed to evade the mandatory checkpoints by ‘tailgating’ another passenger as they went through processing at Heathrow’s Terminal Five facility.

He then boarded a British Airways long haul flight bound for New York John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport.

The oversight was then picked up when authorities at the New York arrivals facility found that the man was not in possession of any required documentation.


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It is understood that the man was subsequently transferred to the care of Metropolitan police officers on his return to London on Christmas Day, December 25.

An aircraft climbs out of London Heathrow airport.
Photo Credit: Heathrow Airport.

Arrest this Week

A court appearance was set at Uxbridge Magistrates Court for 22 January 2024, however the man in question failed to attend, and was subsequently arrested and taken into custody this Monday, February 12.

According to local news source Sky News, British Airways have advised that they are now assisting the authorities with their investigation.

A spokesman for London Heathrow Airport confirmed that: “All people who go airside are subject to security screening, including the individual involved in this case.”

Heathrow Airport authorities will also provide assistance in the ongoing investigation.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 2 Min Read
2 Min Read
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