1The 9-year-old boy who boarded a plane to Vegas without a ticket
2The teen who hitched a ride to Hawaii in the jet's landing gear
The stowaway snuck into the Mineta International Airport in San Jose by jumping a fence. He holed up in the rear left wheel well of the Boeing 767 in an attempt to reunite with his mother. (He had recently learned she was alive after his father told him she was dead.) Abdi quickly lost consciousness as the plane ascended to 38,000 feet and temperatures in the compartment dipped to minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
An hour after the aircraft landed, the boy regained consciousness and emerged on the tarmac. A shocked ground crew spotted him. Abdi was questioned by the FBI (his story checked out) and turned over to local child protection officials where he was given a medical exam, and, subsequently, a clean bill of health. (Source)
3The 11-year-old boy who flew from Manchester to Italy without a ticket
Liam Corcoran had apparently run away from his mother while she was shopping at the Wythenshawe Civic Center and had been reported missing. He was eventually noticed while the flight was in the air and sent back home when the plane returned to England. (Source)
4The 5-year-old who was accidently sent to Boston on the wrong flight
Maribel Martinez, 38, was waiting in New York for her son, Andy, to return home from a family visit in the Dominican Republic. But Andy ended up 214 miles away after another boy was mistakenly put on the plane to New York.
His terrified mother was beside herself with worry when JetBlue staff met her with the wrong boy, to which she replied: "this is not my child!" The other child had been carrying Andy's passport and was mistakenly put on the flight to New York, while Andy ended up in Boston, despite the fact Martinez had paid an extra $100 fee for a JetBlue representative to escort him onto the plane.
After a frantic three hours of trying to locate Andy, he was finally found and put on the phone to his mother. Both children were then returned to their correct destinations. (Source)
5The star-crossed German lovers—aged six and five—who tried to elope to Africa
The children left their homes at dawn while their unwitting parents were apparently sleeping, and took along Mika's seven-year-old sister, Anna-Lena, as a witness to the wedding.
Donning sunglasses, swimming armbands, and dragging a pink blow-up lilo and suitcases on wheels packed with summer clothes, cuddly toys, and a few provisions, they walked a kilometer up the road and boarded a tram to the Hanover train station. They got as far as an express train to the airport before a suspicious station guard alerted police. (Source)
6The 9-year-old who stole a car and later boarded a plane
The next morning, Semaj snuck out of his house and took a bus to the Seattle airport. He went to the Southwest ticket counter and gave a fake name. According to this mother, he told the ticket agent his last name is "Williams." The agent looked at her computer and said, "Frank Williams?" Semaj answered, "Yep," and off he went with a boarding pass with the same name.
He got through security with no issues, because children don't need a photo ID. Semaj hopped on a plane that stopped briefly in Phoenix before heading to San Antonio. He tried to get on a third flight for Dallas to visit additional family members, but Southwest figured out something wasn't right and called airport police. (Source)
7The teenager who tried to go from the U.S. to England in a submarine
8The two Irish kids who ran away from home to NYC
They jumped a commuter train headed to the port of Dún Laoghaire and sneaked onto a ferry bound for Holyhead in Wales. From there, they caught the train to London and connected with a subway train to Heathrow. Once there, they asked a random passenger where his plane was going, and he said, "New York." They told the ticket checker and security their parents were behind them and boarded the Air India plane. “The plane was only half full, so no one came near us,” Keith recalls.
Their journey came to an end when they landed at JFK and asked a cop the way “into town.” They were taken to a police station, where they immediately became celebrities—their exploits made the front page of the New York newspapers. Authorities later took no chances—they were put in a hotel suite with five security guards before being sent home. (Source)
9The Russian child who boarded a plane and flew 450 miles without a ticket or ID
The child mingled with a large airport crowd and made her way onto a Rossiya Airlines flight from Vnukovo, near Moscow to Pulkovo Airport, St Petersburg. She made the 450-mile journey completely alone and was discovered missing when her parents realized she had not come home from school. Airport staff failed to check her ID and assumed she belonged to a large family who was traveling on the plane. Flight attendants also neglected to notice the girl was traveling on her own without ID or a ticket.
The schoolgirl was reportedly curious to see St. Petersburg, but when she landed after the hour-long flight, she decided instead to stay in the arrivals hall. Her panicked parents called her, and she copped to where she was. Airport staff later tracked her down and returned her to her family. (Source)