A man from Slough, England managed to successfully board a British Airways flight from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and fly to John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York without any travel documents.
The incident occurred on December 26, 2023 during the busy holiday season. The man, identified as Craig Sturt, 46, allegedly tailgated unsuspecting passengers through several security checks at LHR airport’s Terminal 5.
Sturt was able to sneak through the British Airways boarding gate without a passport or boarding pass by also sneaking behind other passengers. He was able to find a seat on the fully-booked flight because some passengers had missed their flights due to the chaotic travel period.
Sturt behaved normally during the six-hour transatlantic flight, so no suspicions were raised.
However, his tailgating tactics no longer worked when he arrived at JFK Airport where he failed to present travel documents to airport authorities.
Sturt was then detained and subsequently charged with fraud and offenses under the Aviation Security Act. He was sent back to London on a chartered flight.
Sturt was due to appear at a magistrate’s court in January 2024, but failed to show.
A warrant for his arrest has since been issued and a missing person alert has been posted and circulated by the Thames Valley Incident Alert Facebook page.
Sturt is described as 182 cm tall and was last seen in Reading, but is from Slough. He also has links to Heathrow and the Tottenham Court Road area in London.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for LHR told AeroTime: “All people who go airside are subject to security screening, including the individual involved in this case. We are supporting the authorities with their ongoing investigation.”