SOUTHEND Airport has launched an investigation after a white woman was allowed to fly out the country using her mixed race daughter’s passport.
Sally Nayler, 47, from Benfleet was able to board an easyJet flight to Alicante despite presenting the passport of her 17-year-old daughter Shelby by accident. Sally flew to the Spanish holiday resort with a party of 12 friends and family, including bride-to-be Hayley Moorcroft from Basildon, for a hen do.
But Sally was then left stranded when security staff at Alicante airport spotted that she was using the wrong passport and prevented her from boarding the flight home.
Sally said: “I think it shows security is lacking at the airport. I could have been a criminal or terrorist. They couldn’t have checked my passport properly as my daughter is of mixed race and has an afro hairdo.”
Sally had picked up Shelby’s passport in a rush to catch the flight from Southend on Friday, April 25, and then had to wait an extra day in Spain while her passport situation was sorted out by the British Consulate.
Sally added: “I was allowed to fly out on my daughter’s passport on Friday, April 25. I went through security and handed over my boarding pass and passport and caught the flight. We had a great weekend and were due to fly home on the Monday.
“When I tried to board the flight home 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 to sort it out.
“I know I’m a grown woman but it was really scary. Thankfully an aunt refused to fly back without me and stayed with me.”
She added: “The easyJet desk at Alicante got me a hotel near the consulate and arranged a flight back the next day on an emergency passport which cancels my old passport. “If they had spotted it I could have got my father to bring my own one. We had a wonderful weekend but this spoilt it all.”
Sally said Southend Airport had since apologised and offered free parking and use of the VIP terminal on her next flight but she says she has yet to have an apology from easyJet.
A Southend Airport spokeswoman said: “Security and the safety of our passengers and aircrafts is of paramount concern to London Southend Airport.
“A full investigation is now in progress into the circumstances outlined by Ms Naylor, and appropriate action regarding staff and procedures will be taken when we know the outcome of that investigation.
“We'd like to apologise to Ms Nayler for any distress caused by her experience.”