NEWS: UK traveler Craig Sturt snuck aboard British Airways flight to JFK Airport without ticket, passport
A British traveler successfully snuck into a London airport and boarded a flight to NYC’s JFK Airport without a passport or boarding pass during last year’s chaotic holiday season as he remains missing.
Craig Sturt, 46, is accused of tailgating behind a passenger through the automatic gates at London’s Heathrow Airport on December 26, without raising alarms to any of the law enforcement officers working, according to the Sun.
Sturt navigated himself to a British Airways boarding gate when he continuously tailgated behind unsuspecting passengers at several security checkpoints, and passport control areas, without showing proper documentation, the outlet reported.
Sturt allegedly boarded and found a seat on the fully booked, international flight because some passengers had missed their connection at the airport.
Once onboard, Sturt snacked on free food and drinks while enjoying the luxury of a free, 9-hour flight to the US.
The stowaway’s luck seemingly ran out once on US soil when officials stopped Sturt at a customs checkpoint when he failed to show identification.
Sturt was arrested in the Big Apple on Christmas Eve and was promptly escorted back onto a returning flight to Heathrow.
The Post has reached out to the NYPD.
He was charged with Obtaining Services by Deception; Being Unlawfully Airside; Boarding an Aircraft without permission, and was remanded to appear in court, according to the Sun.
Sturt landed back in London around 8 p.m. on Christmas Day, where he was taken to a hospital.
Thames Valley Police, however, have not been able to locate Sturt and issued a missing persons appeal on Jan. 30.
“I don’t know how Craig has managed to dodge security at the UK’s biggest airport and fly to America without a passport and ticket,” Sturt’s older brother Lee Smith, 52, told the outlet.
Smith called out the airport’s security for not stopping his brother and gave a terrifying hypothetical of what could have happened if Sturt was someone with evil intentions.
“It’s ridiculous this could happen. If Craig, with a troubled past, could dodge security then presumably anyone else with sinister motives could do the same. Heads should roll. How has this been allowed to happen?”
Smith learned of his brother’s escapade when the police called and said he was arrested in New York.
“The police called and said ‘Your brother has been apprehended – by New York Police’. As the cops called I had MTV on and Sting’s ‘Englishman In New York’ was playing. It was surreal.
The confused brother noted to the police on the call, that Sturt didn’t have a passport, but he was assured the stowaway was his relative.
“They said ‘Well he’s just been caught walking down the runway at JFK Airport in New York,” Smith said. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I have no idea how he managed to pull it off. I know it’s a serious issue.”
In November, a Russian man had snuck onto a US-bound flight in a similar manner Sturt took, tailgating different passengers through an airport and boarding an international flight.
Sergey Vladimirovich Ochigava, 46, was found guilty after sneaking onboard a Scandinavian Airlines flight from Copenhagen to Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 4, 2023.
A jury found Ochigava guilty of one count of being a stowaway on an aircraft, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.
Ochigava, who held both Russian and Israeli passports, was only stopped when he reached a security checkpoint at LAX and failed to produce any identification or travel documents.