Belgian couple abandon baby at Tel Aviv airport check-in counter instead of buying extra ticket
Late for their flight to Belgium on Tuesday, one couple only realised they needed to buy an additional ticket for their baby after they arrived at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.
Instead, the pair elected not to fork out for the extra ticket, leaving their child at the check-in counter’s baggage conveyor belt and making a dash to clear security in an attempt to board their Ryanair flight to Brussels.
The pair, who hold Belgian passports, were informed by staff at the closed check-in counter that they had to buy an extra seat for their baby, local news outlet KAN reported on Tuesday.
In footage recorded on a smartphone circulating online, airline staff can be seen uncovering a blanket off a carrier to find the baby inside, reportedly saying in Hebrew the baby was left there.
Officials said it was unclear whether the couple were unable or unwilling to buy a ticket for their child.
The couple were reportedly urged by Ryanair staff to return for their child and were ultimately detained by airport security and Israeli police. They missed their flight, Israel Today said on Tuesday.
Parents with #Belgian passports wanted to board a flight from #TelAviv to #Brussels They #abandoned their #child at the check-in desk and attempted to pass security #Airport staff forced them to collect their #baby and called #police to arrest the pair pic.twitter.com/Fu7tsGTwpd— Brandi Worlds News (@BrandiSaari) February 2, 2023
A Ryanair manager at the airport told Israeli news outlet Channel 12: “All our staffers were in shock. We’ve never encountered anything like this. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing.”
According to Ryanair’s website, babies can travel with their parents for a €25 (S$36) charge – or the local currency equivalent – for “each one-way flight the baby takes while sitting on an adult’s lap”. Parents can also choose to buy a separate seat.
A police spokesman said the matter appeared to have been resolved by the time police arrived at the airport. “The baby was with the parents and there’s no further investigation,” the spokesman told CNN.