A woman has stirred some controversy regarding the security at airports after mistakenly using her son’s passport to fly from Luton Airport to Berlin.
Lenesha Riley, a 33 years old mother-of-two, unknowingly used her passport last week, on the night of 17 January to travel to Berlin from London. The woman, who attends the University of Westminster as a master student, had planned a little trip over the weekend in company of her mother
Annette Murray and her friend Angela Grant to unwind before classes resumed their course. Her plans were almost cut short when she handed in the passport of her son at the airport—without security noticing it.
At Luton Airport, “before boarding my flight, the lady checked my passport and simply handed it back to me,” the 33-year-old woman told the Daily Mail. “It wasn’t until I arrived to Berlin and my passport was needed for a security checked that I noticed the situation.”
Miss Riley said that she didn’t notice that she was carrying her one-year-old Josiah’s passport until her and her companions were already in the German capital. EastJet airline ground staff scanned her documents at Luton Airport, allowing Riley on the plane, but when she reached Berlin, the story was very different.
She told the BBC about the incident, “When I landed in Berlin, I got my passport for border control, I was already in the queue when I realized,” she shared, “I saw the face of my son Josiah and it downed on me. My heart sank—my weekend getaway is over before it starts.”
Lenesha, who is from Newcross in south east London, was allowed to continue with her short trip after providing a picture of her own passport that a relative had sent to her, as reported by the Daily Mail. But although she was thankfully allowed through immigration, the issue of requiring the right documents to fly back home remained.
Riley first considered having her documents delivered by courier, unfortunately a following day delivery was priced at around £1,000. When looking at her other options, she settled for booking a flight for a cousin for the next day, which came at £186.
Besides the news carrying a bizarre undertone, it puts in the spotlight the security measures taken at airports in the UK. A spokesperson from EasyJet stated that Miss Riley had “correctly submitted the details online” in order to obtain her boarding pass, but admitted that “a further visual check at the airport should have picked up on the issue.” And as for London Luton Airport, a statement assured that “there was no compromising of the security at Luton Airport at any moment.”
Riley herself stated that she was very concerned about the incident, “Security measures should most definitely be stronger, in Berlin they scan your documents at the departure gates.” The master student shared. “It is scary to think that anyone could get in and out using a wrong passport.. It is without doubt a security risk,” she said to the Daily Mail.