Parents traveling out of an airport in Israel abandoned their baby at a check-in desk after they failed to purchase an airline ticket for the infant, according to reports.
A couple with Belgian passports were rushing to board a Ryanair airliner bound for Brussels, Belgium. The parents were late to the terminal at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.
The parents reportedly did not purchase a ticket for their baby. Ryanair requires that travelers pay a $27 fee for an infant to sit on the lap of an adult on its flights. The check-in counters were already closed when the couple arrived, and a ticket for the baby could not be purchased.
The parents then allegedly left their baby at the check-in counter and rushed toward the boarding gate.
Israel’s Airport Authority said in a statement, "They left the baby and went to the security check-in at Terminal 1 to get to the departure gate. A ground services shift manager took the couple back to the flight counters to take the baby and called the police and a security guard."
A spokeswoman for Ryanair told CNN, "These passengers traveling from Tel Aviv to Brussels presented at check-in without a booking for their infant. They then proceeded to security leaving the infant behind at check-in. The check-in agent at Ben Gurion Airport contacted Airport Security, who retrieved these passengers, and this is now a matter for local police.”
"All the workers were in shock. We have never seen anything like that. We didn’t believe what we were seeing," Ryanair staff at the airport said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The couple were reportedly questioned by police after deserting their baby inside the Tel Aviv airport. The baby was returned to the parents.
A spokesman for Israel Police said the matter appeared to be resolved by the time police arrived on the scene. The spokesperson added, "The baby was with the parents and there’s no further investigation."
The couple and their infant son did not make their flight, according to Israel Today.
Israeli outlet Channel 12 posted a purported video of the baby being abandoned at the airport. Airline employees appear to be shocked that the small baby was deserted by his parents at the ticket counter.
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