Australian boy flies solo to Bali ‘after row over holiday’

A beach in Bali

Australian police say they will review how a 12-year-old boy travelled alone to Bali after he had a row with his parents and used their credit card.

The boy, from Sydney, booked flights and accommodation online after his parents decided to cancel a holiday to the Indonesian island, the family told the local Nine Network.

He flew to Bali via Perth, presenting only his passport and school ID.

Australian authorities said the boy was found in Bali on 17 March.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) confirmed he had been reported missing nine days earlier after leaving home and failing to turn up school. They did not say how many days he was in Bali.

He had used a self-service check-in terminal in Sydney to board a flight to Perth and then a connection to Bali, the Nine Network reported.

The boy, identified only by a pseudonym, said was questioned once by airline officials in Perth.

“They just asked for my student ID and passport to prove that I am over 12 and that I am in secondary school,” he said on the A Current Affair programme.

“It was great because I wanted to go on an adventure.”

He said he had checked into his hotel room in Bali by telling staff that he was waiting for his sister to arrive.

Australian police said they were alerted to his presence in Bali on 17 March. He was taken into protective custody before being reunited with his parents.

The boy’s mother told the programme she had been left “shocked”, saying: “There is no emotion to feel what we felt when we found he left overseas.”

Police said they would review the circumstances of the case to make sure similar incidents did not happen again.

“A travel alert to prevent international travel was not placed on this boy,” a spokesperson said.

All airlines have procedures that allow minors travel on their own, but requirements vary between carriers, said aviation operations expert Dr Chrystal Zhang from Swinburne University.

About Elise Weatherall

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