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On this blog, we often discuss the best travel tips and deals. These range from discussing the basics of travel to discussing really advanced travel hacks. However, this story cracked me up and scared me at the same time. While we talk about meticulously organizing our documents for travel, a man was able to sneak through security and passport control and reach the US without any boarding pass or passport.

No boarding pass, no passport, no problem!

This bizarre incident happened during Christmas last year. Craig Sturt, a man residing in the UK, was able to sneak through passport control and security. He then boarded a British Airways flight to New York City.

Sturt snuck through Terminal 5 at London Heathrow airport and then managed to board a flight set to depart for New York’s JFK airport. He also managed to sneak through and grab the seat of a passenger who had missed the flight.

Thankfully, US customs and immigrations officials stopped him at JFK airport. After failing to produce in documents, he was deported back to the UK. When pressed about the matter by Sky News, airport authorities released a plain vanilla statement about how he was being prosecuted and that strict action would be taken to review protocols and prevent this in the future.

Court records show he admitted the offences at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, where he was due to be sentenced in January – but a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear.

“We continue to work with all our partners to review and enhance the already robust security measures in place which are kept under constant review by the wider security partnership.” Sturt was reported missing to Thames Valley Police on 25 January and the Met took over the case on 31 January and is now leading the investigation.

“On 24 December 2023, police were made aware of an alleged breach of security at Heathrow Airport and a male was subsequently arrested and later charged with fraud and Aviation Security Act offences,” the force said in a statement.

The Pundit’s Mantra

Thankfully, in this case, this did not turn out to be a major security breach or a terror related incident where a person without documents could possibly hurt the lives of others. However, the fact that Sturt was able to board a plane at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 to travel to a foreign country without a passport and boarding pass shows up multiple failures in the system, be it at passport control, airport security and at the boarding gate.

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