Airport security officials are investigating how a 47 year-old white woman managed to fly to Spain – using the passport of her teenaged mixed-race daughter.
Sally Nayler grabbed the passport belonging to 17 year-old Shelby by mistake as she rushed to Southend Airport in Essex.
She joined 12 friends and family on a hen do to Alicante – and managed to join the EasyJet flight without a hitch.
The error was only spotted when she tried to leave Spain after the weekend on the Monday and was barred from getting on the plane home.
Sally had to spend the night in a hotel while her passport problem was sorted out by the British Consulate.
She was flown home the following day on an emergency passport.
Sally, from Benfleet, Essex, said: “I was allowed to fly out on my daughter’s passport. I went through security and handed over my boarding pass and the passport.
“I think it shows security is lacking at Southend Airport. I could have been a criminal or a terrorist.
“They couldn’t have checked my passport properly, as my daughter is mixed race and has an Afro hairdo.”
Sally, an administrator at a hospice, added: “When I tried to board the flight from Alicante I wasn’t allowed on the plane.
“They said I would have to go back through the airport and go to the British Consulate.
“I’m a grown woman, but it was really scary. It was the most harrowing experience of my life.
“EasyJet at Alicante got me a hotel near the consulate and arranged a flight back the next day on an emergency passport.
“If Southend had spotted it, I could have got my father to bring mine. We had a wonderful weekend, but this spoilt it.”
Sally accidentally picked up Shelly’s passport in a rush to catch the flight from Southend on Friday April 25 and put it in a bag with her fellow travellers’ documents.
Sally said Southend Airport had apologised and offered free parking and use of the VIP terminal on her next flight.
But she said she had yet to hear anything from EasyJet.
A Southend Airport spokesman said: “Security and the safety of passengers and aircraft are of paramount concern.
“A full investigation is in progress into the circumstances outlined by Ms Nayler, and appropriate action regarding staff and procedures will be taken when we know the outcome.
“We’d like to apologise for any distress caused by her experience.”
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