Short trip for teen

Friday, June 20, 2003

NORMANDY PARK, Wash. -- It was a very short trip to paradise for one 13-year-old boy: He flew from Washington to Hawaii and back in less than a day.

The unidentified teen managed to charge the airline ticket online to his mother's credit card -- and got himself to the airport and aboard the flight to Maui.

But his mom figured out where he was going at her expense, so a Maui County officer met him on his arrival last week.

The boy was booked on a return flight, and was back home before midnight.

Aloha, indeed.

"He expected to get a flower in his ear. Instead, he got a ride in a police car," Normandy Park police Chief Rick Kieffer said.

The boy's mother, whom Kieffer did not identify, realized her son was missing June 11 and checked their home computer, which showed he had ordered a plane ticket to Hawaii.

"He got mom's credit card and punched it in," Kieffer said.

The family lives just over 2 miles from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, not a long walk for a 13-year-old.

His mother sentenced him to "two years of yard work" to cover the cost of his ticket.

"We had a happy ending, from the police side of it," Kieffer said. "How Mom felt about it might be different."

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