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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, 2023, 1:29 pm
  #61  
 
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Similar thing happened to me on a QF flight from MEL to BNE last year....machine went beep at the gate and I was told that I had already boarded! Agent looked very confused (Seems to be the standard response!) but sent me down the airbridge anyway. My seat was unoccupied and I thought no more about it. No idea what actually occurred, but the security implications are pretty serious, although this never occurred to me at the time.I also have a pretty unusual surname, so I very much doubt it was a passenger with the same name.
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 2:34 pm
  #62  
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On my most recent BA trip, in December, my outbound was scheduled as BOI-SEA-LHR-GVA. The trip, although fun, was a slow-rolling disaster, especially the outbound during which my BOI-SEA flight was going to be 2 hours late, and my LHR-GVA flight was canceled, not to mention that my checked bag was lost for 12 days, courtesy of AS and BA. But I digress.

Once I cleared security in Boise, my flight to SEA, which had been listed as "on time," abruptly showed a 2 hour delay on the airport monitors. It was obvious that I would miss my BA connection in Seattle, because BA had given me no option at ticketing other than to accept a 1 hr 45 minute connection at SEA, something I would normally refuse. Once I saw that I would miss my BA long haul connection in Seattle, I quickly checked the airport monitors and saw that there was a Delta flight leaving in 30 minutes, which would get me to SEA with plenty of time to spare. I was an AS elite at the time (now a commoner), so I called the elite line and quickly got an agent who agreed to put me on the DL flight. She gave me a "record locator" number for DL, and told me to run to that gate, which I did.

Once at that gate, the DL agent was, with a lot of effort, able to find the record showing my reservation however could not find any evidence of payment by AS for my seat on DL. I called AS and was unable to get the ticket number from them. Only after the rest of the passengers had boarded the DL regional jet, did the gate agent take pity on me and by virtue of heroic efforts on her part find the ticket number showing that AS would pay for my transport. I came within about 1 minute of being shut out of the flight.

I mention this not to compare my situation with this poor Ugandan's problems, but to point out that when an airline accommodates a passenger with a missed connection, when that passenger was originally ticketed on an out-of-alliance, non-partner airline, that all sorts of things can go wrong. The DL boarding pass I was ultimately given was printed 5 seconds before I entered the airplane, and I did not look at it other than to see the seat number.

None of this excuses any lapses in procedures and security on boarding the OP's flight in AMS, however this sort of situation has a lot of opportunities for screw ups and sometimes they are going to go from the possible to the actual.
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 3:07 pm
  #63  
 
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Originally Posted by BA850
And, at the very least, even though you checked your Executive Club account and found everything to be in order, change your password anyway.
Change ALL of your passwords
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 7:01 pm
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by Strawb
Not sure why that is but I'm pretty sure no KLM flights use the D gates for London. .
I just flew AMS-LCY on KL out of D6 four days ago.
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 8:20 pm
  #65  
 
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I think it's quite plausible that the Ugandan was totally innocent in all this. He missed his original connection and in the rebooking process an agent fat fingered something, printed the wrong BP, handed it to him and he went where he was told to go. The GA who missed the discrepancy needs to be reported and BA needs to follow up with some very direct "coaching". If this was an attempt at something more sinister, it was a pretty stupid one. The correct passenger will almost certainly show for the flight and then the jig is up.

Some years ago I went to board an AUS-DFW flight but inadvertently went to the gate for an AUS-LAX flight, had my BP scanned, and was allowed to board. I saw someone in my seat and then realized the seating arrangement was different than I was expecting. Then there was an announcement that referenced the flight to Los Angeles and I just made if off before they shut the door. I then went to the next gate and boarded my correct flight without incident. If my seat had been empty I would have had an unscheduled detour.
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 9:22 pm
  #66  
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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 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.
Yeah, I have a hard time seeing sinister intent here. It was extremely likely that the OP would show up in that seat, and there would be this situation for the FAs to resolve. The sinister plan had very little chance of succeeding, which makes me doubt very much that there ever was a sinister plan. Just some very weird mistake or combination of mistakes.
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 9:26 pm
  #67  
 
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That's truly frightening! I'm trying to comprehend how did it happen whereas the officer checks your identity during the onboarding and how did he got the boarding pass since every passenger generates unique qr code. Glad he was offloaded cos we don't know what will happen on that flight.
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 9:31 pm
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1
It would be a very boring movie.
Not if you can make up an outrageous conspiracy and get Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, Dylan McDermott, and Angela Bassett to spice things up...


Last edited by nk15; Feb 5, 2023 at 9:55 pm
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 9:47 pm
  #69  
 
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Originally Posted by Stripe
I think it's quite plausible that the Ugandan was totally innocent in all this. He missed his original connection and in the rebooking process an agent fat fingered something, printed the wrong BP, handed it to him and he went where he was told to go. The GA who missed the discrepancy needs to be reported and BA needs to follow up with some very direct "coaching". If this was an attempt at something more sinister, it was a pretty stupid one. The correct passenger will almost certainly show for the flight and then the jig is up.

Some years ago I went to board an AUS-DFW flight but inadvertently went to the gate for an AUS-LAX flight, had my BP scanned, and was allowed to board. I saw someone in my seat and then realized the seating arrangement was different than I was expecting. Then there was an announcement that referenced the flight to Los Angeles and I just made if off before they shut the door. I then went to the next gate and boarded my correct flight without incident. If my seat had been empty I would have had an unscheduled detour.
Yes. This is almost certainly agent incompetence as opposed to passenger malice, as evidenced by both the extraordinary measures of what would be required for this plan to succeed if it had been hatched as a nefarious plot, as well as the muted reaction from the agents at Schiphol.
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 10:09 pm
  #70  
 
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This has been a fun thread to watch, the opening act was very dark, riddled with sinister accusations of a mastermind culprit that managed to hack into systems and time their dastardly so well that they took a seat mid-connection in hopes the OP somehow got lost mid-way, until reason started to set in and we band together to blame the agents, to the what seems to be mostly happy finale?

To summarize:
  1. OP got to their destination on time and should probably change BAEC password as their BAEC number was visible, I see no logic to changing all of their passwords - this isn't a 2000s hacker movie
  2. The 'intruder' made it out without being scolded, and given the situation - that it sounds like an agent gave them the wrong boarding pass was hopefully put on a new flight without paying any extra
  3. OP will seek compensation, and update us all with the 3,000 avios or so, unless they're still giving 15,000 for minor irritations. Any further detail on what happened will likely take a while and a lot of persistence
Is the case closed here until OP updates us on their compensation and whether they'll be pursuing damages?
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 10:55 pm
  #71  
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Think about anything highly repetitive you've ever had to do and consider for a moment how you could have very seriously screwed up, no matter what the supposed importance of what you were doing. Put yourself in the shoes of some gate agent, who's not getting rich putting up with passenger complaints, having to deal with delays, etc. etc. etc., who looks at 2000 boarding passes and passports (opened to the photo page) per day, boarding flights.

Is it any surprise that you would occasionally screw up in that situation, being the supposed "gatekeeper," especially if distracted, something that certainly happens multiple times every day if you are in that line of work?

The only thing that has even a chance of averting situations like this is highly automated systems and software that make it impossible to make a mistake in this kind of job.

I'll give you an example of such a system. After BA lost my luggage on my trip in December, I was forced to buy additional clothing several times, in France. I went into a Decathlon store in Macon, and I had put multiple T-Shirts, socks, pants, shorts, a jacket or two, etc. into the basket. What you do in a Decathlon when checking out is to place the contents of your basket into a trough by an automated payment station, it somehow scans everything, all the items show up on the screen, you approve the purchase, pay with your chosen method, and the ticket is printed, generally end-of-story. As I proceeded to exit with my ~150 Euros worth of clothing, an alarm sounded at the exit and I was called back into the store by a security guard. It turned out that a 3 euro packet of socks failed to scan for some reason. Since I didn't physically scan anything and since I bought around 15 items, I didn't notice the socks missing on the ticket. When I mentioned this (in French) the person at the register shrugged her shoulders and said something to the effect of, "the system is pretty good but it's not perfect." I paid the extra 3 euros and was on my way out the door, for good.

That's a good example of a set of layered and automated, nearly foolproof systems to catch those rare occurrences where the systems don't work properly. There is no reason why BA and other carriers can't institute similar systems to prevent issues like what happened in this thread.
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 11:19 pm
  #72  
 
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Originally Posted by champignon
That's a good example of a set of layered and automated, nearly foolproof systems to catch those rare occurrences where the systems don't work properly. There is no reason why BA and other carriers can't institute similar systems to prevent issues like what happened in this thread.
The system in your story still relied on the guy at the door stopping you to check and pay, rather than just waving you through.
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 11:31 pm
  #73  
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If this was in the UK, you'd report the matter to the CAA. Is there a Dutch equivalent?

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Old Feb 6, 2023, 12:13 am
  #74  
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I'm now waiting for the Ugandan to pop up in the EC261 thread asking what he's entitled to for being IDBd ...

Slightly more seriously, when nefarious plots take shape the miscreants tend to try dummy runs to see what's detected and at what stage - the 911 attacks and the toner cartridge bomb attempt being examples. Now that's probably not the case here, but it's also why it should be properly investigated and lessons learned. It's how the industry protects itself.
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Old Feb 6, 2023, 12:15 am
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1
The system in your story still relied on the guy at the door stopping you to check and pay, rather than just waving you through.
He could easily be replaced by a door closing at the exit, a barricade coming up, or whatever mechanical barrier one could suggest.

I'm sure they choose to have a human there instead because the alternatives would seem just too offensive for what in reality was a failure of their own automated systems.
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