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Someone obtained my boarding pass and got on my flight

Someone obtained my boarding pass and got on my flight

Old Feb 5, 23, 8:42 am
  #46  
 
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It certainly is a breach of security.

As a between jobs customer service agent, I have seen this sort of thing happen more frequently than you will want to know.

In the end, this sounds like two bad mistake made by probably a very junior agent who perhaps may need to find another job. But not a nefarious action. What are the chances of you falling asleep and 'missing' the flight with threatening baggage to safe ops, and the other pax mistakenly boarding?

Even though positive baggage matching on international flights is the blood rule learned from PA103, unfortunately humans make mistakes as I imagine in your case. In this time of employee shortages and airlines typically paying low wages, one doesn't always get the cream of the crop.
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Old Feb 5, 23, 9:09 am
  #47  
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OP claims he has a "unique" Vietnamese name. Perhaps not as unique as he thinks. It is well known that a number of Vietnamese migrated to Uganda in years past. Could it be that this guy's passport had the same name as OP's? Did OP actually see the guy's passport? It would explain why he was able to get a BA boarding pass for the flight.
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Old Feb 5, 23, 9:15 am
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by Fyfan
As the others have said it sounds incredibly sinister. If the other passenger had done this very intentionally, it would sound like identity theft. And if it was incompetence from BA, then its a very serious security issue.

Im curious, if it was a genuine mistake of the other passenger - why they didnt check the boarding pass and see that it was printed in someone elses name? Or perhaps they did know, but thought they would enjoy a free ride in club. So reading into this I cannot see a scenario where it was an unintentional mistake of the other passenger. Very disturbing and Id second other comments that recommend contacting BA, as this is a serious security breach and the airline should take steps to investigate why this happened, and what needs to change to stop an incident happening like this again.
If an infrequent flier is being rebooked I can easily them not examining the BPs carefully and just making sure to get to the new gate ASAP.

Originally Posted by Strawb
Nope. He was offloaded and took his carry on with him. That was it basically.
This exact same thing happened to me on a domestic connection in BNE. On my second flight I got a beep, the gate agent asked for my ID and then told me to board. I did not think anything about it. I got to my seat and someone was in it, double checked I was at the right seat and asked the FA to check. The FA looked at the guy's BP and said he was in the right seat and called the gate agent. She got on board and saw that we both had BPs for the same seat but both with my name! She asked for his ID and his last name started with the same 3 letters as mine. Turns out the passenger had asked for a reprint of his BP because he spilled coffee on it. He spelled his name aloud and the agent printing the BP selected the wrong record.
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Old Feb 5, 23, 9:25 am
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by Strawb
Just landed at LHR. So during the meal service the cabin Manager informed me that the guy was actually OK to travel, he had missed his KLM connection to London and had been sent to Gate D31. Not sure why that is but I'm pretty sure no KLM flights use the D gates for London. Cabin Manager told me that the guy wasn't even aware his boarding pass wasn't in his own name. Somehow the system at the gate - not KLM or BA apparently - spat out a boarding pass in my name for him. I don't buy that. Judging by the incompetent look of the gate agent when the scanner beeped and informed her that I had already boarded, yet she still let me on board, me thinks the gate agents are a bit clueless and I have no idea who they are contracted to.


I need to complain about this because my personal details including my FF number were on my boarding pass and under GDPR my personal data has been clearly breached. Not only that but it is shocking that a passenger managed to board a completely different airline to that on which he was booked, bypassing security procedures along the way. What if I had missed my flight? I need to complain to BA and, if necessary, the Information Commissioner's Office.
I dont think FF number would qualify under GRPR, I could be wrong though. It can be found in the trash pretty easily.
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Old Feb 5, 23, 9:36 am
  #50  
 
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A little bit horrifying to read, but I'm not entirely surprised. Years ago now I had a check-in agent give me someone else's boarding pass. Luckily the agent quickly realised their mistake and called me back to swap it (and ripped it up when I handed it back). I then noticed several other boarding passes scattered across the desk.

Luckily in OPs case they were attentive enough to have seen the gate scanner say 'ALREADY BOARDED' and knew something wasn't quite right and to bring it to the crew's attention. Assume in the scenario where this isn't reported to the crew and the 2 people just swap seats thinking it's not a big deal, a passenger count would eventually discover the mistake of an extra person onboard?
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Old Feb 5, 23, 9:39 am
  #51  
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I am really surprised how AMS underreacted to this, given their reputation for tough security. Minimally they should have deplaned everyone, and searched the aircraft.
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Last edited by nk15; Feb 5, 23 at 12:52 pm
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Old Feb 5, 23, 9:55 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by StevenSeagalFan
I dont think FF number would qualify under GRPR, I could be wrong though. It can be found in the trash pretty easily.
Anything that can be used to identify an individual either on its own, or in combination with other information that a data controller holds, qualifies as personal data under the GDPR.

A FF number is expressly designed to identify individuals and therefore falls squarely within this definition.

Obviously if the holder of a boarding pass decides to bin it, that's up to them. For obvious reasons, they aren't under any GDPR obligations with respect to their own data. But a data controller or processor could be in breach of the GDPR if they disposed of a customer's boarding pass in a careless manner.
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Old Feb 5, 23, 10:04 am
  #53  
 
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I find it unlikely that the person who boarded with the incorrect BP had been rebooked on the OP's specific flight. Had that been the case, he would have been brought the correct BP and moved seat, unless a further mistake was made.

By 'good to travel' I would infer that he was admissible to the UK (hard to obtain the KL BP otherwise, assuming genuine and belonging to the passenger), had been rebooked on either another BA flight or a KL service, had presented at the gate with a passport in a non-Western name and a BP was reprinted for a different non-Western name by a staff member not paying attention.

The procedures as written by and large do a good job of checking documents, but it is impossible to ensure that all the frontline staff really understand what they're doing and why.

Case in point: at LCY recently I showed ID on boarding and moved directly to scan mobile BP. I didn't pause long for the staff member to read the text on the mobile BP, and as it was face-down on the scanner he made a point of telling me how he would need to see it afterwards to ensure the name matched my ID. He didn't look at his screen or the BP reader, maintaining eye contact with me and then checking mobile BP against ID.

In my opinion, as the text on a mobile BP essentially means nothing as it can be modified with Microsoft Paint, the proper procedure should be to match the ID to the name displayed on the BP reader. Otherwise, Mr Inadmissible could check in online using name and passport details belonging to Mr Citizen, the details having been easily enough obtained from a hotel front desk employee, with Mr Citizen none the wiser because he still has his passport. Mr Inadmissible edits the self-print or mobile BP to show his own name, and then turns up at the gate with entirely genuine ID matching the BP text. That is presumably why the BP scanner displays the name from the airline's records.
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Old Feb 5, 23, 10:52 am
  #54  
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Unless the Ugandan's co-conspirators failed in their attempt to incapacitate the original passenger, this is the dumbest and most unlikely "nefarious" plot I've ever heard of, knowing he'd undoubtedly show up to take his seat.
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Old Feb 5, 23, 10:53 am
  #55  
 
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This was most likely a case of handing over a wrong boarding pass to someone who then didn't think much of it and just boarded the wrong flight.

If this person had been so devious as to somehow obtain the OPs boarding pass, surely they would quickly realise the flaw in their plan when the original pax attempted to sit on his lap.

I wonder if many here would so quickly jump to accusations of "identity theft" etc if the other pax had been described as an average white male business person-type. I can't help but think if that had been the case, some would much easily explain this as a simple mistake, end of story.
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Old Feb 5, 23, 11:25 am
  #56  
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Originally Posted by mario
This was most likely a case of handing over a wrong boarding pass to someone who then didn't think much of it and just boarded the wrong flight.

If this person had been so devious as to somehow obtain the OPs boarding pass, surely they would quickly realise the flaw in their plan when the original pax attempted to sit on his lap.
I agree. The conspiracy theories are beyond implausible if you give the matter some thought. What is more likely is that we had an agent mistake being made when printing the BP coupled with inadequate checking of documents at boarding.

I do not regard the fact that the passenger did not notice that the BP was not issued in his name as implausible even if the passenger is a seasoned traveller. If I had a reissued BP, I would look first and foremost at the flight number and time and at the seat number. I do not think that I would pay attention to the passenger name field and necessarily notice a name change so I can quite see myself in a situation where I would be issued a BP in the wrong name and not notice it.
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Old Feb 5, 23, 11:46 am
  #57  
 
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A GDPR subject access request for all the info relating to the OP's PNR and specifically what information is held about the issuing of the boarding cards could yield some relevant information..

BA Boarding cards contain rather more personal info than other airlines - notably
- full BAEC number
- PNR
- Surname, Forename, Title
which together are more than enough to get access to you booking allowing changes to be made.
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Old Feb 5, 23, 12:32 pm
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by Strawb
Judging by the incompetent look of the gate agent when the scanner beeped and informed her that I had already boarded, yet she still let me on board, me thinks the gate agents are a bit clueless and I have no idea who they are contracted to.
I can totally see myself doing that. I would probably think that I had scanned it correctly the first time and the machine was too quick, as if I had scanned it twice. Now, the duplicated BP, that is really weird.
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Old Feb 5, 23, 12:57 pm
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by pampa
I can totally see myself doing that. I would probably think that I had scanned it correctly the first time and the machine was too quick, as if I had scanned it twice. Now, the duplicated BP, that is really weird.
To be fair I've had something similar happen before where the gate was so crowded my boarding pass was scanned but there was no room to step forward. When the queue cleared I started to walk forward but she stopped me and asked for my boarding pass, I told her she'd already done it but she still wanted to scan me again. It of course beeped and she just said thankyou and I kept walking thinking nothing more of it (until now!).

So I can see how gate agents might understand that 'already boarded' message to mean 'oops you accidentally scanned this person twice'.
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Old Feb 5, 23, 1:07 pm
  #60  
 
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Sounds like story in a movie, the airline should be liable to this happening. Terribel
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