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Airline staff gave my passport to another passenger (identity theft concerns)

Airline staff gave my passport to another passenger (identity theft concerns)

Old Jan 25, 19, 1:40 am
  #1  
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Airline staff gave my passport to another passenger (identity theft concerns)

Yesterday I checked in at LAX for an international flight (airline not named for obvious reasons).
Upon giving the staff my passport and ticket, there was some ticketing issue that required some time to resolve - a ticket number had been issued.
Fast forward several minutes later and I was asked for my passport again, by the same person.
They were supposed to still be in possession of it.
There was another delay and I found out that a staff member of the airline willingly and knowingly gave my passport to another passenger, who had already left the check-in area. The passenger had to be called over the speaker to return to the check-in area.
Clearly there was great risk, plenty of time and opportunity for my identity to be stolen and given the recency, that cannot be ruled out. It is reported that identity theft does not occur immediately after details have been stolen.
I eventually got my passport back and the staff member in charge did not apologize, however admitted to an intentional breach of security and safety.

Has this happened to anyone before? What action can be taken, legal or other? I am yet to hear back from the airline after submitting feedback.
There are costs to replace the passport, plus costs for new visas that I don't know if the airline will cover.
I'm so broken by this; I cannot trust this airline and they did not even offer a simply apology.

Thankyou in advance to anyone that can help.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 5:21 am
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Just so it is clear in my mind are you saying the airline agent actually said something along the lines of “I deliberately gave your passport to another person.” and not something like “I accidentally gave your passport to another passenger.”? Since they were able to call the person who had your passport back to the counter it sounds like they still had the other person’s passport or ID and had made a mistake. While I share your sense of distress I’ll have to say of all my IDs the one I’d be least worried about would be my passport. Here in the US passport information is rarely used in ID theft as there is relatively little information on the passport and at least I have never been asked for my passport to open a bank account, get a loan, or get a credit card.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 5:38 am
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Stepping back, what would motivate a check in agent to deliberately give your passport to another passenger? Ultimately it would just create hassle for themselves to resolve the situation

I think the histrionics over identity theft are a bit much for what most likely was an accident.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 5:41 am
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Frankly, I think you are making a big deal out of not very much. Unless you have proof that the airline employee "willingly and knowingly" gave your passport to someone with ulterior motives, all that you can say is a (probably honest) mistake was made. Who was this other person? And why would you expect identity theft. Unless you have never travelled, or never used your passport as identification anywhere, or your passport is brand new, your passport details are already 'out there'.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 8:41 am
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Old Jan 26, 19, 8:49 am
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I was in China and had a choice remain in the terminal and have the staff there get my onward ticket, collect my bags, recheck my bags. All of which meant giving them them my baggage tags and passport. Or get a transit visa, exit the terminal, and deal with it myself. We choose the former. They had our passport for over 5 hours. We even saw them drop a whole stack of passports and baggage tags. Identity theft was the least of my concerns.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by Randyk47 View Post
Just so it is clear in my mind are you saying the airline agent actually said something along the lines of “I deliberately gave your passport to another person.” and not something like “I accidentally gave your passport to another passenger.”? Since they were able to call the person who had your passport back to the counter it sounds like they still had the other person’s passport or ID and had made a mistake. While I share your sense of distress I’ll have to say of all my IDs the one I’d be least worried about would be my passport. Here in the US passport information is rarely used in ID theft as there is relatively little information on the passport and at least I have never been asked for my passport to open a bank account, get a loan, or get a credit card.
Agreed. I also don't understand what "obvious reason" there would be for not naming the airline.

I wouldn't be at all concerned and definitely wouldn't be replacing my passport and visas over it!

Think about it OP - if the airline employee wanted to do something with it, they would have copied the passport info stealthily while they had it behind the counter. Why on Earth would they set up a situation where a third person was involved and where you would obviously discover what had happened? They would have to be a rather dense criminal to choose that option.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by Kangol View Post
....There was another delay and I found out that a staff member of the airline willingly and knowingly gave my passport to another passenger, who had already left the check-in area. ...
Willingly and knowingly? Are you serious? I have heard OTT hyperbole here on FT before but this has to be one of the most ridiculous. You are saying the airline rep knew exactly what they were doing and that they made a conscious decision to “willingly and knowingly” hand your passport to another random pax rather than just making a mistake? You truly believe that?
There are costs to replace the passport, plus costs for new visas that I don't know if the airline will cover.
Why do you have to replace the visas? You still have the passport. Just carry both. No different than if your passport had expired and the visas were still valid.

Drama much?
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Old Jan 29, 19, 12:16 am
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Yes, the person in charge admitted to intentionally giving my passport to another passenger. There was no admission of a mistake, sorrow, regret or human error despite several rounds of questioning and many opportunities to make a concession. This was a purposeful omission. A reasonable person who made an honest mistake would admit it. Maybe they were trained to not admit fault regardless of what happened. This is a common stance in some legal circles.

Let's just say, there is a reason why certain people have certain roles. As has been mentioned, the smarter person would have taken the details themselves in a more secretive manner. But maybe there was malice involved - that cannot be ruled out. Hanlon's razor notwithstanding, your term "dense criminal" is not unlikely.
Think about what would have happened if they had damaged the photo page, or any other page..... think about why that would or should be different.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 2:18 am
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Originally Posted by Kangol View Post
Yes, the person in charge admitted to intentionally giving my passport to another passenger. There was no admission of a mistake, sorrow, regret or human error despite several rounds of questioning and many opportunities to make a concession. This was a purposeful omission. A reasonable person who made an honest mistake would admit it. Maybe they were trained to not admit fault regardless of what happened. This is a common stance in some legal circles.

Let's just say, there is a reason why certain people have certain roles. As has been mentioned, the smarter person would have taken the details themselves in a more secretive manner. But maybe there was malice involved - that cannot be ruled out. Hanlon's razor notwithstanding, your term "dense criminal" is not unlikely.
Think about what would have happened if they had damaged the photo page, or any other page..... think about why that would or should be different.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that is not getting any clarity here

​​​​​​-“admited to intentionally...” what exactly did they say? And what exactly did the “several rounds of questioning” involve?
-what on earth does “there is a reason certain people have certain roles” even mean?
-“think about what would have happened if...”- did they? If not what does that entire line have to do with the price of fish? What if they’d taken their pants off and run around the terminal singing Yankee Doodle?

what did the unnamed airline say when you reported it to them? And the police? Since you’re alleging a crime has been committed?
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Old Jan 29, 19, 2:28 am
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Originally Posted by Kangol View Post
Yes, the person in charge admitted to intentionally giving my passport to another passenger. There was no admission of a mistake, sorrow, regret or human error despite several rounds of questioning and many opportunities to make a concession. This was a purposeful omission. A reasonable person who made an honest mistake would admit it. Maybe they were trained to not admit fault regardless of what happened. This is a common stance in some legal circles.

Let's just say, there is a reason why certain people have certain roles. As has been mentioned, the smarter person would have taken the details themselves in a more secretive manner. But maybe there was malice involved - that cannot be ruled out. Hanlon's razor notwithstanding, your term "dense criminal" is not unlikely.
Think about what would have happened if they had damaged the photo page, or any other page..... think about why that would or should be different.
Originally Posted by nancypants View Post


I’m sure I’m not the only one that is not getting any clarity here

​​​​​​-“admited to intentionally...” what exactly did they say? And what exactly did the “several rounds of questioning” involve?
-what on earth does “there is a reason certain people have certain roles” even mean?
-“think about what would have happened if...”- did they? If not what does that entire line have to do with the price of fish? What if they’d taken their pants off and run around the terminal singing Yankee Doodle?

what did the unnamed airline say when you reported it to them? And the police? Since you’re alleging a crime has been committed?
I have to agree with you. There is so much drama and hyperbole in this, that I'm not sure I really understand the problem. A passport is a document meant to be seen by lots of people, the data on it are stored and recorded at many places. Identity theft was no more or less likely to have occurred in this described (and frankly, bizarre) episode than in any other interaction with people meant to handle your passport. I have no idea why OP felt it necessary to get a new passport. I'm also not convinced this mistake required expressions of sorrow or regret.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:52 am
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Assuming all the existing passport information was accurate and up to date the best a new one is going to get is a new passport number. All the other, and quite frankly limited, information is going to stay exactly the same.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:39 pm
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much ado about nothing. So they got your passport...big deal...they have your name, dob and where you are from originally. Anyone can get that in a few seconds google search from any website.

Next...
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:54 pm
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The use of pseudo-legal language such as "intentionally and knowingly" makes this all sounds like someone looking to bring a lawsuit.

If you think you have a lawsuit, then go sue. Let us know how it goes.

If you want to be reasonable, forget about this and move on with your life (along with the passport and its visas which would thankfully returned).

By the way, it is far from obvious why you won't name the air carrier or why it was that anyone needed to take your passport anywhere.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
By the way, it is far from obvious why you won't name the air carrier
A very brief check of OP’s posting history has various questions about Cathay services from LAX recently

not knowing how frequently OP travels (seems like not that often if this issue is being allowed to mountain as it is, but presumably also somewhat often given concerns about replacing multiple visas?!), is it reasonable to assume that this incident involved Cathay Pacific?

If it did not indeed involve Cathay, OPs cageyness on this matter has thus opened up the (not entirely unreasonable) presumption that the carrier may be Cathay...
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