Coming back from YYZ to YVR last week, I made my way to gate my gate D24 around 20:00 for a 20:20 flight. Priority boarding has started, and so I went in and spread stuff I'd want around me. A few minutes later someone comesand claims I'm in their seat. Sure enough, they had the same seat, but it turns out on a different flight - I had managed to get on the wrong plane.
I rushed out (forgetting a water bottle behind), and the gate agent tells me my flight is now in gate D39. I rush there, and board as they are just about closing the gate. I hadn't heard the announcements about the gate change (do any of you pay attention to general announcenments?). However, the GA accepted my boarding pass for a different flight, and the FA directed me to my seat without noticing 'm in the wrong plane.
Once I was on westjet, flying with a group of people back in 2010. during boarding, a guy came up to one in the group and claimed she was in her seat. He had a BP from OLCI, showing the seat. My companion took out her BP from the airport and it had the same seat...but the name wasn't hers! Their last names had the same first 3 letters, but were wildly different, and the first names were nothing alike. We were surprised that the check in agent didn't bother to look closely, security didn't notice that a lady's name wasn't Frank, and neither did the GA...Luckily the baggage (which was also in this man's name) was only checked through to YYZ, and did not get checked to a different destination!
Just to save the reps of the Gate Agents - I think I've tried to board the wrong flights 3 times over the years. Thankfully, I got caught/saved by the gate agent each time. It's embarrassing of course but the agents were diplomatic and helpful every time.
This happened to someone I know a few months ago.
Someone who has worked in the aviation industry for almost 30 years.
I think the flight was from HPN....
Original flight went mechanical and a replacement CRJ had to be flown in.
A few hours later boarding starts, passenger scans boarding pass, heads down the tunnel....outside boarding.....gets directed by an agent in "this" direction.
Passenger thinks the stairs and interior look a bit different than expected. Takes seat. F/a is having trouble making the passenger count correct.
Eventually door is closed and they take off. Passenger falls asleep.
Wakes up 5 min from touch down, looks out window and realizes this isn't ORD. It was PHL.
He had ended up on the wrong airline US instead of UA. And wrong a/c type DH8 instead of CRJ.
Now the hard part was US trying to convince UA that the passenger wasn't on their a/c, as the UA computer showed, but was standing at the counter in PHL.
A night in PHL at the airline's expense and he was on his way home.
There was a classic story in the early 80's of a young man who boarded a flight in LAX for Auckland - but after the flight had been going for a number of hours asked when they were due to land in Oakland.
Say the words - sound similar .....
NZ stuffed up - and had to send him home to Oakland on their dime.