Travel

Inebriated passenger outsmarts airport security, sneaks on to plane

When most people miss a flight, they rebook, get a hotel room, or hunker down in the terminal late-night to shoot a music video lip-syncing a Celine Dion song. That's most people.

But Brit traveler Lee Jezard? No, apparently he's not a Celine Dion fan. After turning up late to the UK's Birmingham Airport and missing his flight to Ibiza last week, the 22-year-old decided to spend his night testing the airport's (clearly negligent) security system by sneaking onto the runway and boarding an empty plane.

And yes, he had been drinking. A lot. In case you were wondering.

Short on cash for a hotel room after rebooking his flight for the following morning, Jezard settled in at one of the airport's bars. One drink led to another and by the time the airport emptied out, he came up with the genius idea to channel his inner-Leo DiCaprio from Catch Me If You Can; sneaking past a closed check-in desk, crawling through a luggage conveyor belt, and then finding an open Lufthansa Embraer 195 to, you know, hang out in. 

Even better, when stopped and questioned by a cleaner onboard the plane, he tried to convince him that he was the pilot. Needless to say, he was arrested shortly thereafter when Tom Hanks/the police arrived; he was charged with "entering a security restricted area of an aerodrome without the permission of the manager" and "boarding an aircraft without permission", both of which are apparently very specific laws in the UK.

Despite admitting that he "got absolutely slaughtered" at the bar, Jezard did his best to save face claiming he committed the crime "to prove how bad airport security is". And because he "wondered if [he] could expose a lapse in [airport] security". Sure you did, Lee.

Keeping up the whole I-totally-meant-to-do-this facade, he added, "It's a good job I am not a terrorist. I couldn't believe how easily I got through, no-one stopped me or confronted me once between the check-in desk and the airfield".

While released on bail, Jezard awaits an August 20th court date and is prohibited from entering all UK airports. And planes, of course.


Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that’s a British accent. No, she doesn’t watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.