12-year-old boy steals mom's credit card and flies to Bali after an argument with parents
He partied in Bali for the next four days as much as any preteen kid can — hiring a motorbike despite not having a license, trying out beer despite being underage
A plucky 12-year-old boy has become a sensation after he stole his mum's credit card and took a flight to Bali, Indonesia, staying there four days before his parents wised up and flew down to take him back to Australia.
That's right, a twelve-year-old managed to pass through multiple security checkpoints without anyone ever questioning where a little kid was heading all alone. You'd expect Australian authorities to have realized something was amiss, but the first time anyone asked who he was with was at Immigration in Bali.
It all began when the boy, whose name has been withheld, had a tiff with his mum, Emma, and decided to run away. He first took the family credit card and booked "cheap" flights to Denpasar, Bali, claiming that he got a good deal on the tickets.
However, a good deal wasn't the only thing he was looking for. The quick-thinking kid also did some extensive research on which airlines do not require explicit written permission from a parent to fly overseas and found that Jetstar offered him exactly what he wanted.
All he needed to fly to Bali alone was his student ID to prove that he was over 12 and in secondary school, and a valid passport. The boy then conned his grandma into giving him his passport, removing the last obstacle to his escapade.
Tickets in hand, the kid packed a backpack with the bare essentials — a couple of t-shirts and shorts, shades, sunscreen, and sandals. He then told his parents he was heading to school before taking his scooter to catch a train to the airport.
Since he had no check-in luggage and just a carry-on bag, he didn't have to go to a counter to check in and used the self-serve kiosk. The smart kid managed to avoid any questions Jetstar staff might have had when they saw the 12-year-old by himself.
He boarded a connecting flight to Perth, and then, from Perth, he flew to Denpasar, where at Immigration he was asked where his mother was for the first time since the beginning of his trip.
He told the Immigration officer that she was waiting outside for him, and he must have been quite believable, because the officer gave him an entry visa stamp on his passport. Once the stamp was on his passport, he was free to roam the island all by himself.
The enterprising 12-year-old not only booked flights but also thought ahead and booked a room at the All Seasons Hotel, which is where he headed once he landed, getting on a Go Jek bike taxi to get there.
He partied in Bali for the next four days as much as any preteen kid can — hiring a motorbike despite not having a license, trying out beer despite being underage, which he detested, and recording bits of his adventure on his phone.
It was his social media presence that eventually led to the authorities figuring out where he was. He posted a photo and a video from his stay online that authorities used to track down his phone to Bali, alerting his parents who were by then besides themselves with worry.
The couple booked the next flight to Denpasar, but were ironically stopped in Perth by Jetstar who refused to let them board because they didn't have a return ticket booked yet. The airline must have got quite an earful from the miffed parents whose 12-year-old had been sent on to Bali just four days earlier without incident.
They were forced to sign a waiver before heading to the island paradise to retrieve their runaway son. To be fair, he had been to the tourist destination with his family before so he hadn't been completely lost or helpless there.
We can only imagine how livid and relieved his parents were when they finally reunited with him and also saw the credit card bill. Their son's four-day vacay on the island left his parents with a hefty $8,000 bill in a revelation reminiscent of the closing scene of 'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.'
Jetstar now prevents children over 12 from flying anywhere without parental authority to avoid future embarrassment. And the kid? He never expected his little trip to get so much attention. He said, "I wanted to go on an adventure."
This article has been taken with permission from The Daily Net