A 15-year-old unaccompanied boy was removed from an EasyJet plane at Gatwick Airport after the flight to Toulouse was overbooked.
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Casper Read, from West Sussex, had allegedly boarded the aircraft to visit relatives in France and sent a text message to his mother to say he was on the plane but was later asked to leave.
The schoolboy was then left on his own at the departure gate.
His mother Stephanie Portal, who had seen him off before airport security, told The Guardian: "It's crazy. They left him alone in departures. Luckily, I had still not got on board my train to London and could come back and find him.
"If I had not been there I don't know what would have happened – he'd have had no money for the train back or anything."
EasyJet is now investigating the incident. A spokesperson told the Independent: "We apologise for any inconvenience caused. EasyJet is sorry that Casper Read's flight from London Gatwick to Toulouse was overbooked. We are investigating why he was able to board the aircraft as he should have been informed at the gate.
It comes just days after Virgin Atlantic was forced to apologise when an unaccompanied 11-year-old boy was removed from a London-bound flight at Shanghai Airport.
His family said the boy was left traumatised after the incident. He had already checked in and sat in his seat when he was removed from the flight on 9 July.
The boy had been booked on an 'unaccompanied minors' seat and was heading over to summer camp in Britain with a friend.
But the 'category' he was sitting in was overbooked so he was removed from the flight. His parents said their son was left "scared" and "cried for hours" after the incident.