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Old Feb 16, 12, 11:01 am   #1
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AA 21 JFK-LAX: Return to gate because of one passenger too many on board

Reporting a just very unusual occurrence on flight AA 21 2/15/12. Plane leaves gate on time. Halfway to the runway, the captain announces, " Unfortunately we have to return to the gate, because we have one too many passenger on board"

Nothing looks out of the ordinary, after getting to the gate very unhappy looking captain comes out of cockpit. Then GA comes on board and after huddling for 5 minutes with the crew, rushes all the way to the back of the aircraft, asking everybody to show boarding pass. Commotion ensues, I am too far away to see what was really going on. Two male passenger leave the plane and we are on the way again.

One fellow passenger surmised, that someone tried to bring a 6 year old child on board as a "lap infant". Unfortunately, it is impossible to verify that. The FA told me, when asked, that the computers went down during the boarding process, which I suppose is going to be the party line.
I highly doubt that, because five minutes before departure, a fellow passenger was handed a boarding pass to J.

Anyway to find out, what was the real story?

I am just wondering, with all the security and TSA, it is a bit scary, when someone not on the manifest can get on board.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 11:07 am   #2
  
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Originally Posted by Artur View Post

I am just wondering, with all the security and TSA, it is a bit scary, when someone not on the manifest can get on board.
Right, although heartening in that they didn't get very far.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 11:08 am   #3
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Without more facts, difficult to determine what happened. Perhaps the plane was weight-restricted and the two were nonrevs who were mistakenly boarded?

I don't see anything scary about it. Odds are they went thru the same TSA checkpoint as everyone else.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 11:18 am   #4
  
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Originally Posted by Artur View Post
The FA told me, when asked, that the computers went down during the boarding process, which I suppose is going to be the party line.
I highly doubt that, because five minutes before departure, a fellow passenger was handed a boarding pass to J.
The boarding process encompasses a much longer time period than "5 minutes to departure." It's possible that someone mistakenly boarded the flight during that glitch. Seems pretty unlikely for both those things to happen together, but then this is quite a rare occurrence, as you mention.

Nothing scary about it. As FWAAA notes, the passenger would have been screened either way, and the likelihood of a "malicious person" (whatever that means) just happening to hit this loophole is remote.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 1:28 pm   #5
  
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If you saw 2 passengers get off then there was 1 too many on the aircraft. The flight finally left with 167 out of 168 seats occupied. It seems that one person that got on the flight didn't have their boarding pass scanned, creating a seat dupe that wasn't discovered until the flight was moving. As has been pointed out, everyone was screened so nothing concerning there. At least it wasn't like the PIA flight where the crew decided to have 2 passengers sit in the lav for the flight because the rest of the seats were full! ( http://news.hamaraphotos.com/ians/pi...o-instead.html )
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Old Feb 16, 12, 2:24 pm   #6
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Someone needs to tell Ada Quonsett that her act is getting really old
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Old Feb 16, 12, 2:35 pm   #7
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Originally Posted by Artur View Post
Halfway to the runway
How can you be sure that you were halfway to the runwAAy?
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Old Feb 16, 12, 2:47 pm   #8
  
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Originally Posted by JFKSFOLAX_friend View Post
How can you be sure that you were halfway to the runwAAy?
Really?

What difference does it make whether the plane was half to the runway, 2 feet or 2 inches to the runway? How does that change anything?
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Old Feb 16, 12, 2:50 pm   #9
  
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Originally Posted by AARay View Post
If you saw 2 passengers get off then there was 1 too many on the aircraft. The flight finally left with 167 out of 168 seats occupied. It seems that one person that got on the flight didn't have their boarding pass scanned, creating a seat dupe that wasn't discovered until the flight was moving. As has been pointed out, everyone was screened so nothing concerning there. At least it wasn't like the PIA flight where the crew decided to have 2 passengers sit in the lav for the flight because the rest of the seats were full! ( http://news.hamaraphotos.com/ians/pi...o-instead.html )
Sounds like a plausible explanation, except I would think that if two folks got off then in fact both of them, not one, inadvertently got on the wrong flight. Perhaps this took place due to the computers going down during the boarding process and the GA not checking their boarding passes carefully enough. Could be that the pilot was being inaccurate or misinformed when he said that there was (only) one extra passenger on board.

As for the PIA lavatory seating story, some folks might prefer that to
coach.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 4:22 pm   #10
  
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
Sounds like a plausible explanation, except I would think that if two folks got off then in fact both of them, not one, inadvertently got on the wrong flight.
They could have been domestic partners who didn't want to be split up.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 5:12 pm   #11
  
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Please explain more

After reading this, I am still confused.

Were those two on the WRONG flight or were they on the CORRECT flight. If they were on the correct flight then where was the second pax sitting? On a FA seat? Was he standing?
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Old Feb 16, 12, 5:32 pm   #12
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After reading this, I am still confused.

Were those two on the WRONG flight or were they on the CORRECT flight. If they were on the correct flight then where was the second pax sitting? On a FA seat? Was he standing?
Everybody is confused, due to the paucity of information. That's what makes a great speculative thread. All guesses are equally valid, as there are no facts to contradict any guess.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 5:37 pm   #13
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Ada Quonsett indeed - kind of like the clarity of what actually happened on this aircraft.

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Someone needs to tell Ada Quonsett that her act is getting really old
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Old Feb 16, 12, 6:21 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artur View Post

I am just wondering, with all the security and TSA, it is a bit scary, when someone not on the manifest can get on board.
I don't see how this is scary in the slightest.

Despite TSA's gross incompetence, everyone on the plane passed through the "security" checkpoint. Who cares, other than revenue management, whether there are extra or missing people on the plane?
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Old Feb 16, 12, 7:21 pm   #15
  
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In 2006 or 2007 I was able to board an AA flight to Orlando I think from ORD, however I should have boarded at the nearby gate for the AA flight to Jacksonville. I didn't realize until I couldn't locate my bags and the nice lady at lost baggage told me my bags were safely where they belong, in Jacksonville. I forget now if I got miles for JAX or MCO trip??
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