The list of things you’re not allowed to smuggle on planes is quite extensive. The banned items include matches, lighter fluid, aerosol containers, and fireworks. Those are quite obvious. It’s also common sense that passengers aren’t allowed to hide a child in a carry-on bag, but even so, a French woman was just caught doing just that.
However, the woman who hid a child in her luggage likely won’t be criminally charged. As far as the French authorities and Air France are concerned, she had a fairly decent motive behind the odd choice.
The incident happened on a Monday Air France flight from Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, Agence France-Press reported.
Other passengers alerted the Air France crew of a strange sight when they noticed a bag at the woman’s feet moving. A witness talked to local media, describing the moment he realized that the woman had hidden something inside the bag, according to Fox News and the BBC.
“The cloth bag belonged to a woman sitting at the back. At one point, she wanted to open it and somebody on the neighboring row of seats saw that something was moving inside … He alerted flight attendants, who then discovered a (child).”
It’s not clear how old the child was. Media has reported the child was as young as 1-year-old, and another said she was four.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) March 9, 2016
After Air France crew members discovered that the passenger had hidden a child in her carry-on luggage, the woman and child were moved to the front of the plane until landing.
According to Metro, the passenger who discovered the baby was “very shocked.”
The woman was immediately taken into custody when the Air France plane landed. Both she and the baby were held at the airport for a time while authorities looked into the unusual case. However, after hearing her story, prosecutors have decided not to press charges.
The fact that this person hid a small child inside a bag sounds cruel, but her story gives a different perspective. The woman hid this baby in a desperate move, but her motives seemed to be pure.
The passenger is, in fact, a citizen of France. It’s not clear why she was in Turkey since the child she hid in her bag was reportedly from Haiti. And the woman was on the Air France plane Monday because she was in the process of adopting the little girl.
— SBTV News (@SBTVNewsOnline) March 9, 2016
It’s not clear if she picked up the child in Turkey and was heading to France to bring her new daughter home. At the present time, the status of the child’s adoption has not been revealed. Nonetheless, information from an anonymous source at Charles de Gaulle indicated that this was the only way she could get the child home.
“She was apparently in the transit zone in Istanbul, and had crossed the customs checkpoint with the child, when she was prevented from boarding a flight with her.”
According to this source, she then bought a new ticket and decided to board a different flight. This time, she had a plan. Since the girl wasn’t allowed on the Air France flight the first time, she needed to be smuggled on board the second flight.
So she hid the child in her bag. And the scheme worked as it got her on the Air France flight, and now, she and her soon-to-be daughter are in the country.
“Once on board, she placed the child at her feet, under a blanket, but the girl needed to go to the toilet and was noticed by other passengers.”
As for the baby, fellow Air France passengers reported that she “seemed well.”
[Photo by IceHawk33/Shutterstock]