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How to fly as someone else & bypass security?

How to fly as someone else & bypass security?

Jun 2nd, 2008, 09:44 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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How to fly as someone else & bypass security?

I recently met my other "half" in the flight. As I was sitting down, someone came up and claimed my seat his. I looked at his boarding pass, the name is mine...

How did this happen? A number of things puzzle me:
1. Our first and last names are nowhere close.
2. He said he was bumped to my flight from an earlier flight. He checked in at the counter (with luggage). I self checked in (with no problem). Is double check-in allowed? What are the chances that the airline person behind the counter would check him in as a different person?
3. The security was ultra tight that day. My boarding pass and ID were checked and compared at different points between the lobby and the gate. One of the times, the boarding pass was stamped. But his boarding pass was not stamped.
4. Nobody tore off a part of his boarding pass at the gate.

Have you heard of anything like this?
neubee is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 11:27 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,673
Sounds like he was flying stand by on your flight and handed the wrong boarding pass. He likely checked in for his original flight with the correct boarding pass with his name on it.
charsuzan is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 12:56 PM
  #3  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,172
I've been handed the wrong boarding pass when cleared for standby myself.

Gate agent letting me on for boarding said "you don't look like a Mary Smith" and made the correction.

There may be other explanations, but charsue's explanation is plausible.
J62 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 03:21 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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On a NWA flight once my seat selection was double sold - it was a domestic flight. Luckily, we always arrive very early at the airport & were alert to get in line & board ASAP. So I was in the seat when I was challenged with "you're in my seat!". I did not get up - very important. I checked my boarding pass & I was in the correct seat. She checked & showed me her boarding pass & it was for the same seat. Still being smart enough not to vacate "my" seat, I advised her to discuss it with the flight attendant.

The flight attendant & the non-seat person came back to me. The flight attendant asked to see my boarding pass & confirmed I was in the correct seat. She took the other person off the plane!!!!! Don't know if they found a seat for her, but I think the plane was full.

Another good reason for boarding ASAP!

I doubt that her name matched mine though.
JulieAgain is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 03:45 AM
  #5  
 
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Julie - what you are describing happen more often than you realize and has to do with people who make changes in itineraries, either planned or due to delays.

We had a flight change while at IAD connection and ended up with 8 people for 4 seats - all with "valid" boarding passes. However, I believe you are wrong in your assumption that first body in the seat has a claim to that seat - they check electronic manifest and find out who was the last actual "owner" of that seat - in our case, it was not us even though we boarded first, had made reservations months in advance. All turned out well - they offered a paid bump to 4 other passengers and we were off on different seats.
gail is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 01:09 PM
  #6  
 
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Happened to me once - got the wrong boarding pass. I saw the error on time to get another pass, but that poor other passenger, always wonder what had happened to him?
FainaAgain is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 07:21 AM
  #7  
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Thanks for sharing your experience!

I have been on both sides of your stories, with one exception that I got an upgrade than being kicked out of the flight. Lucky...

Given that we all make mistakes. It is possible that a wrong boarding pass is given. But what made this time different is the combination of mistakes, having said the security was ultra tight.

1. At the check-in counter, he was given my boarding pass.

2. At the luggage check-in counter (a separate counter from a separate line), the airline personnel didn't notice the name on his ID + ticket + boarding pass didn't match, and checked in his luggage under my name.

3. At the gate between the lobby and the screening area, the airport personnel didn't notice the name on his ID + ticket + boarding pass didn't match. (This is where everyone's boarding pass is stamped after the check.)

4. At the screening area, the airport personnel didn't notice the name on his ID + ticket + boarding pass didn't match.

5. At the gate, the airline personnel didn't notice the name on his boarding pass and ID didn't match.

I am not putting him against the highest level of security check. The 5 checks were what I went through, so did my travel partners who bought tickets separately, as well as everyone else around us at each check.

I may never know how he passed 5 checks without knowing his boarding pass was not his. But since I checked in after him with no problems, it would mean that the airline computer allowed double check-in. Right there, a big security flaw...
neubee is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 07:35 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
I don't think he told the full story. He probably got his own BP at check-in. He only got one with your name from the gate agent.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 08:05 AM
  #9  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,172
The only time I ever show ID to a person is at TSA security, and they do check that ID name matches BP.

While not germane to this thread, it is very easy to create a piece of paper that will get one past TSA, especially in the era of home printed boarding passes.

I will neither confirm nor deny that it's ever been done, nor condone said practice, but with a little forethought and minimal computer skills it would be quite possible to meet an incoming passenger at a gate beyond security.

The only check at TSA security is if the piece of paper has today's date, a relevant flight #, and name that matches ID. No checking of airline database, barcode, etc.

Getting on the plane is a different story as in most cases gate agent scans bp & gets computer ok before allowing passenger on board.
J62 is offline  
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