By Andrea Romano
January 28, 2020

You never know how important your passport is until you need it the most.

According to the Daily Star, a London woman flew all the way from London Luton Airport to Berlin on an Easyjet flight before realizing she was traveling on her baby son’s passport. She even had it scanned at security before her flight, but no one caught it.

Masters student Lenesha Riley was heading to Berlin with her mother and friend for a short weekend getaway, according to the Daily Mail. The passport she was traveling with was scanned at her departure gate, and Riley was allowed through without any problems. It wasn’t until she arrived at security in the Berlin airport that she noticed she actually had her son, Josiah’s, passport in her hands.

“When it was time to board the plane, the passport was scanned and the lady just gave it back to me,” Riley told the Daily Mail. “I got to Berlin and had the passport out for security, and that's when I realized. It felt like my heart sank to my toes and I thought, 'Oh my god.”

Luckily, Riley had a relative send pictures of her real passport, according to the Daily Mail. Miraculously, security in Berlin allowed her to pass through, but said she needed proper paperwork if she wanted to fly home.

In this photo illustration a man holds 4 British passports
Credit: SOPA Images/Getty Images

Since she was only in Berlin for a short weekend, she looked at getting her passport sent by courier. Unfortunately, the cost of next-day delivery would have put her out £1,000 (about $1,300 USD), according to the Daily Mail. She decided to pay for her cousin to fly out the next day instead, costing only £186 (about $243 USD).

More than just the cost and inconvenience, Riley was also concerned about the security implications of her experience. Luckily, Riley was just traveling for a short holiday, but if it could happen to her, it could happen to anyone.

“It's scary to think who else could get in and out of the country using a different passport. It is most definitely a security risk,” Riley told the Daily Mail.

A spokesperson for Easyjet told the Daily Star, “Miss Riley went through full security screening ahead of the flight’s departure, however, the additional visual check carried out prior to boarding should have picked up the issue. We are investigating how she was able to travel from Luton to Berlin with the incorrect documentation.”

Next time you or a loved one flies, make sure to double check the passport.