Two Belgian parents allegedly abandoned their baby at a check-in desk at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport on Tuesday morning after they were asked to pay an additional fee by the airline for their child to travel with them.
Local media reports claim the parents refused to pay the fee and simply left their baby in a stroller at the check-in desk before heading towards the security checkpoint to catch their Ryanair flight to Brussels.
Stunned airline workers chased after the couple before airport security officers detained them. Israel’s national police have reportedly taken the two parents into custody for questioning.
Ryanair charges a flat rate fee of just €25 for an infant to travel on their parent’s lap. An infant is classed as a baby aged between 8 days and 23 months. After 23 months years old, parents must book and pay for a separate seat for their child.
If parents don’t want their infant to travel on their lap, they can use an approved car seat but they must pay for a separate seat for the car seat to be stopped to.
Ryanair flight FR-4710 departed Terminal 1 at Ben Gurion Airport bound for South Charleroi Airport at around 1:30 pm without the family onboard.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Israel’s Airport Authority told Kan News: “A couple with a baby, holders of a Belgian passport, arrived at Terminal 1 without a ticket for the baby.”
“The couple arrived late for the flight after the flight’s check-in counters had closed. They left the basket with the baby and wanted to go up to the security check-in to get to the departure gate”.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.