An infant sitting in an airport waiting area. (photo via iStock/Getty Images Plus/tatyana_tomsickova)
In what may have been an unprecedented turn of events, a couple abandoned their baby at an airport reception desk in Tel Aviv on Tuesday while they ran to catch their plane.
The passengers, who were not identified (but were evidently from Belgium), were running so late for their scheduled Ryanair flight from Ben-Gurion International Airport to Brussels that boarding had already closed by the time they arrived at check-in.
While they were already too tardy to check in for their flight, the pair caused a commotion after being told they needed to purchase a plane fare for the child and then ditched their infant at the desk.
According to Israel’s N12 News, the parents decided to leave the infant in its carrier on the counter while they made a mad dash for security checkpoints and the terminal beyond in hopes of making it onboard.
As one might expect, they were not admitted onto the aircraft. Instead, they wound up being chased down by Airport Security officers after (presumably, panicked) check-in agents called for assistance.
“All the employees were shocked, we have never encountered anything like this. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing,” a Ryanair manager told local reporters.
The Israeli Airport Authority told the outlet, “The couple left the infant seat with the baby and ran toward the security checks at Terminal 1 in an attempt to reach the boarding gate for the flight.”
The matter was then referred to local law enforcement, a Ryanair spokeswoman told CNN in an email. “These passengers traveling from Tel Aviv to Brussels (31 Jan) presented at check-in without a booking for their infant. They then proceeded to security leaving the infant behind at check-in,” she explained. “The check-in agent at Ben Gurion Airport contacted Airport Security, who retrieved these passengers, and this is now a matter for local police.”
N12 News reported that the couple was taken aside for questioning after being reunited with their offspring. But perhaps the incident was ultimately chalked up to absentmindedness on the parents’ part, since a spokesman for Israel Police told CNN that the trouble seemed to have been settled by the time police officers got to the scene. “The baby was with the parents and there’s no further investigation,” he said.
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