In a shocking case of avoiding additional airfare costs, a couple purportedly abandoned their child in Tel Aviv as they did not purchase a ticket for them to fly.
No Ticket For The Child
CNN is reporting that a couple left their child at the check-in counter when they were informed that they needed to pay an additional €25 for the child to fly.
“A couple and an infant with Belgian passports arrived for a flight at Terminal 1 without a ticket for the baby. The couple also arrived late for the flight, once the check-in for the flight was closed. 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.” – Israeli Airport Authority
It’s unclear what the couple had intended to happen to the child, perhaps they expected a relative to pick the baby up, and has not been reported at this point.
“A spokesman for Israel Police told CNN in a phone call that the matter appeared to have been resolved by the time police arrived on the scene. He said: “The baby was with the parents and there’s no further investigation.” – CNN
Of Course, It Was Ryanair
Ryanair is known for its Ultra Low Cost Carrier approach adding numerous fees on top of very low booking prices. The flight operating from Tel Aviv, Israel to Brussels, Belgium was soon to depart though that there’s obviously no excuse for this kind of behavior. While Ryanair often finds ways to charge for just about everything and may be portrayed as driving its customers to the point of insanity, customers that add the extras they want typically have a good flight experience and still pay less than other carriers. The carrier has even suggested eliminating co-pilots to keep fares low.
For what it’s worth, nearly all carriers charge for infants including in the US where at least the taxes are due. Some carriers charge 10% of a passenger fare for the child, which in premium cabins can run into the hundreds even on award redemptions.
Regardless of whether the couple had arranged for someone to collect the child (which is not stated but the only logical conclusion that doesn’t involve them abandoning their child) it’s still criminal to leave the child and walk off or, in this case, run to a departing flight. The couple had intended to travel with their child but decided against paying the small fee for the child to fly with them. That’s reprehensible behavior.
What remains confusing to me is how the couple evaded prosecution even after the child and parents had been reunited. Children in the US are removed from their parental custody for less than this disgusting behavior. If for nothing else, the mere motivation that would compel a couple to choose to travel rather than paying for the child is beyond comprehension.
There may be more to this story, but on the surface, any couple who would leave a child with strangers or unattended as they attempt to board a flight abroad is irresponsible and should not be responsible for the care of that child. The fact that the fee was only €25 underlines the extent to which this couple’s flawed logic could put the child at risk.
What do you think? Should the couple be prosecuted for leaving their child behind? Is there a plausible reason they shouldn’t be charged with a crime?