The 16-year-old managed to sneak into the wheel well of the Hawaiin Airlines’ Boeing-767 after jumping an airport fence. But he had no idea where the plane was headed, the British tabloid Daily Mirror quoted investigators as saying.
The boy was discovered on the tarmac at Kahului airport in Maui, Hawaii, after he jumped down from the wheel well and was wandering around the airport grounds.
It was a “miracle” the 16-year-old boy did not die during the five-and-a-hour flight, the Guardian quoted officials as saying.
They said the boy quickly lost consciousness as temperatures dropped to -62 degrees Celsius as the flight attained its cruising altitude of about 12,000 metres. There would have been very little oxygen in the wheel compartment during the flight, they added.
The teenager had run away from his family in Santa Clara after an argument.
He is now in the custody of child protection agencies in Hawaii but is not believed to be suffering any serious medical problems.