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(Sunday Business Post)   Confused woman fails to notice that her boarding pass is for later in the week. Fark: So do all four security checkpoints she passes through   (sbpost.ie) divider line 40
    More: Unlikely, boarding passes, Gatwick Airport, airport security, Ryanair  
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6600 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Oct 2010 at 12:05 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



40 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread
 
2010-10-18 10:01:36 AM  
I truly do think that, in the vast majority of cases, if you were to present any boarding-pass-size document to one of the security officials who's checking it against your ID, he or she would simply put check marks in all of the same places he normally does and wave you through. They aren't looking at anything; I rarely see them spend enough time even glancing at the ID to visually register what the name and/or birthdate says. One of these days, when I'm not in a hurry and have some time to kill, I'm going to quiz the guard after he's finished and ask him to repeat my birthday and boarding gate back to me.
 
2010-10-18 11:30:47 AM  
Unfortunately she needed to get there earlier in the week.
 
2010-10-18 12:03:06 PM  
Ryanair charges extra for -valid- boarding passes.
 
2010-10-18 12:06:49 PM  
Given that it's Ryanair, I'm suprised they noticed before the plane took off.
 
2010-10-18 12:07:11 PM  
Pocket Ninja: I'm going to quiz the guard after he's finished and ask him to repeat my birthday and boarding gate back to me.

have fun getting cavity searched.
 
2010-10-18 12:09:33 PM  
Pocket Ninja: One of these days, when I'm not in a hurry and have some time to kill, I'm going to quiz the guard after he's finished and ask him to repeat my birthday and boarding gate back to me.

In their defense, you can visually check for a match of names between the ID and the boarding pass without actually comprehending the name that you're reading. Someone who doesn't even know the Roman alphabet could successfully perform that job, just as you could do it at a Russian airport where names are in Cyrillic.
 
2010-10-18 12:10:34 PM  
THIS SOUNDS LIKE A JOB FROM AMATURE PROCTOLOGIST GUY

wait, she is hot, right.....

/drtfa
 
2010-10-18 12:10:34 PM  
Pocket Ninja: I truly do think that, in the vast majority of cases, if you were to present any boarding-pass-size document to one of the security officials who's checking it against your ID, he or she would simply put check marks in all of the same places he normally does and wave you through. They aren't looking at anything; I rarely see them spend enough time even glancing at the ID to visually register what the name and/or birthdate says. One of these days, when I'm not in a hurry and have some time to kill, I'm going to quiz the guard after he's finished and ask him to repeat my birthday and boarding gate back to me.

Yeah, pretty much. They don't pay attention to the dates.
 
2010-10-18 12:11:12 PM  
*FOR*
 
2010-10-18 12:13:38 PM  
Confused woman fails...

That was enough for me.
 
2010-10-18 12:15:58 PM  
How'd she check in? Its my understanding you can't check in for a flight and receive a boarding pass more than a few hours in advance.

Anyway the current system of ID checks is redundant in the worst way. Even though you can have your boarding pass and ID checked up to 4 times before getting on the plane I doubt any of the security personell are doing much more than glancing at it and handing it back. 4 x 0 is still 0.

Fun story though:

I went on a trip to Switzerland last summer and when I was going through passport control to board my flight back to the US the security guy started getting very agitated and asking where my entry stamp was. I was pretty confused and he was getting more and more aggressive. Then my brother pointed out to me that I'd used my British EU passport to enter and I was trying to use my US one to leave. So I handed over the British with the entry stamp and everything was cool. Glad I didn't get hauled off and questioned by the Swiss border police.
 
2010-10-18 12:17:58 PM  
I did something similar by accident. Used the ticket for the second leg of my trip at the first leg (so the airports listed on the ticket were not the airport I was at). No one noticed until boarding when they tried to scan my ticket.
 
2010-10-18 12:18:12 PM  
"The passenger was asked to leave the aircraft when the discrepancy was identified and complied with the request."

At that point, why not just let her fly as if she were standby?
 
2010-10-18 12:30:45 PM  
FTFA:
A spokeswoman for Gatwick said she was unable to comment on specific incidents.

''No one who carries an invalid boarding pass would be able to get through the security check in," she said.


Uh...the facts show otherwise.
 
2010-10-18 12:31:34 PM  
A spokeswoman for Gatwick said she was unable to comment on specific incidents.

"No one who carries an invalid boarding pass would be able to get through the security check in," she said.


At which point we replied, "Are you aware that we're asking you about this because the thing that you just said can't happen, happened 4 times in a few minutes?"
 
2010-10-18 12:33:25 PM  
What kind of airline lets you check-in prior to 24 hours before your flight?? The same flight numbers are used every single day, and not letting you check-in too early is the easiest way to alleviate the problem that happened in TFA.
 
2010-10-18 12:34:53 PM  
Couple CSBs:

once for shiats and giggles I tried using a fake boarding pass and ID a few years ago (though the ticket was real) based off one the many methods security experts have shown to get on a plane. Sadly it worked without a hitch.

2nd, a few years ago my girlfriend at the time went to florida for a week for vacation but had booked her return ticket for correct day but for the next year. she managed to get on the plane and get home.

3rd, I was flying to SFO from JFK on Virgin. we are delayed from leaving the gate because two people hold boarding passes for the same seat. in this day in age thats pretty hard to do. the woman who is arguing that its also her seat starts telling a story how she was on a plane where a similar thing happened and the moronic person in the aisle had gotten on the right carrier but the wrong plane (aka Delta to ATL instead of Delta LAX). at that point the stewardess checked her boarding pass and told her that the plane she has a boarding pass for is the flight to LAX not SFO, needless to say she was pretty humiliated.

/CSBs
 
2010-10-18 12:40:44 PM  
Fortunately, I think the policy of needing a boarding pass to get through security is stupid, so I can't get indignant about this slip-up.. I miss the days that you could still meet people at the gate when picking them up at the airport.

However, somebody definitely wasn't doing their job....
 
2010-10-18 12:41:47 PM  
Pocket Ninja: I truly do think that, in the vast majority of cases, if you were to present any boarding-pass-size document to one of the security officials who's checking it against your ID, he or she would simply put check marks in all of the same places he normally does and wave you through. They aren't looking at anything; I rarely see them spend enough time even glancing at the ID to visually register what the name and/or birthdate says. One of these days, when I'm not in a hurry and have some time to kill, I'm going to quiz the guard after he's finished and ask him to repeat my birthday and boarding gate back to me.

Flying yesterday, the security checkpoint guard at least noticed the date and address on my ID, because she said "Happy Birthday".
 
2010-10-18 12:54:15 PM  
rule of thumb: The more people who have to check something, the more likely that none of them will check it in detail, relying on the others instead.

I once had a document with 14 signatures on the cover page. Everyone failed to note that I was requesting something to be done that violated some major policies.

/nuke plant engineer
 
2010-10-18 01:00:04 PM  
KJM315: we are delayed from leaving the gate because two people hold boarding passes for the same seat. in this day in age thats pretty hard to do.

Ever heard of overbooking?

homarjr: What kind of airline lets you check-in prior to 24 hours before your flight?? The same flight numbers are used every single day, and not letting you check-in too early is the easiest way to alleviate the problem that happened in TFA.

A quick check find that Continental, Delta, American, and Southwest allow check in up to 24 hours in advance. Sounds pretty common to me.
 
2010-10-18 01:03:47 PM  
Tobin_Lam: KJM315: we are delayed from leaving the gate because two people hold boarding passes for the same seat. in this day in age thats pretty hard to do.

Ever heard of overbooking?


of course, but they don't usually assign seats. there are seat requests given and then when you check in if its not overbooked you get a seat assigned to you. if it is overbooked you get put on the standby list.

you see here these were two assigned seats......

anyways just a minor point, nothing worth really arguing over here.

Tobin_Lam: homarjr: What kind of airline lets you check-in prior to 24 hours before your flight?? The same flight numbers are used every single day, and not letting you check-in too early is the easiest way to alleviate the problem that happened in TFA.

A quick check find that Continental, Delta, American, and Southwest allow check in up to 24 hours in advance. Sounds pretty common to me.


yep most airlines allow online check-in within 24 hours of flight time but not within one hour (some 90 minutes) of flight time. and as a note you should always try to check in as soon as possible to the 24 hour window.
 
2010-10-18 01:04:50 PM  
Why don't they just put one of those boarding pass scanner machines at the head of the security line? There would be two obvious benefits,

1) They check details like date and gate to make sure the passenger is in the right place at the right time and,

2) It can verify the name of the ticket matches the passenger manifest and that the barcode is valid (much harder to forge than the paper ticket) which visual inspection cannot do.
 
2010-10-18 01:17:03 PM  
Tobin_Lam: A quick check find that Continental, Delta, American, and Southwest allow check in up to 24 hours in advance. Sounds pretty common to me.

No shiat...they meant more than 24 hours in advance.
 
2010-10-18 01:31:01 PM  
Cyborg77: How'd she check in? Its my understanding you can't check in for a flight and receive a boarding pass more than a few hours in advance.

Anyway the current system of ID checks is redundant in the worst way. Even though you can have your boarding pass and ID checked up to 4 times before getting on the plane I doubt any of the security personell are doing much more than glancing at it and handing it back. 4 x 0 is still 0.

Fun story though:

I went on a trip to Switzerland last summer and when I was going through passport control to board my flight back to the US the security guy started getting very agitated and asking where my entry stamp was. I was pretty confused and he was getting more and more aggressive. Then my brother pointed out to me that I'd used my British EU passport to enter and I was trying to use my US one to leave. So I handed over the British with the entry stamp and everything was cool. Glad I didn't get hauled off and questioned by the Swiss border police.


To me it's almost a good thing they checked. Some countries are very inconsistent about entry/exit stamps.

For example, if you were to look at my passport, it would appear that I am still in Slovakia. Or Austria. Neither have an exit stamp- only entry.

I thought that was weird- customs said it wasn't. Meh.
 
2010-10-18 01:33:24 PM  
Pocket Ninja: I truly do think that, in the vast majority of cases, if you were to present any boarding-pass-size document to one of the security officials who's checking it against your ID, he or she would simply put check marks in all of the same places he normally does and wave you through. They aren't looking at anything.

I fly pretty frequently (at least once a month) and I have noticed that the agents pay much more attention these days. Usually they will use the special light to make sure my driver's license is real and they will compare the photo to my face. And I don't think it's just because I normally fly out of DCA. I've noticed it at other airports too.
 
2010-10-18 01:38:39 PM  
Wall Street: Why don't they just put one of those boarding pass scanner machines at the head of the security line? There would be two obvious benefits,

1) They check details like date and gate to make sure the passenger is in the right place at the right time and,

2) It can verify the name of the ticket matches the passenger manifest and that the barcode is valid (much harder to forge than the paper ticket) which visual inspection cannot do.



But you can't buy its vote.
 
2010-10-18 01:44:28 PM  
Tobin_Lam: homarjr: What kind of airline lets you check-in prior to 24 hours before your flight?? The same flight numbers are used every single day, and not letting you check-in too early is the easiest way to alleviate the problem that happened in TFA.

A quick check find that Continental, Delta, American, and Southwest allow check in up to 24 hours in advance. Sounds pretty common to me.


Reading is difficult.
 
2010-10-18 02:00:53 PM  
Man On Fire: Pocket Ninja: I'm going to quiz the guard after he's finished and ask him to repeat my birthday and boarding gate back to me.

have fun getting cavity searched.


Why else do you think he's doing it?
 
2010-10-18 02:17:12 PM  
Story is no big deal. A couple of years ago at the Johannesburg airport my wife and I (different last names) went through 3 checkpoints, each time we were in separate lines and presented our own documents. It was only after the third check point we realized we had accidently switched passports when got them out before the first check point. And no, we don't look anything alike, look our gender, and have normal male/female first names. So the checkers weren't confused, they didn't even look.
 
2010-10-18 04:15:50 PM  
Clearly they pay better attention now... but that doesn't mean they are doing a good job yet.
 
2010-10-18 04:25:39 PM  
tuckeg: And no, we don't look anything alike, look our gender, and have normal male/female first names.

So wait, neither of you looks your gender?
 
2010-10-18 04:45:41 PM  
MasterYong: To me it's almost a good thing they checked. Some countries are very inconsistent about entry/exit stamps.

When I was in the EU a while back, I had my passport entry-stamped in Germany. When I left from Spain, the passport control guy was watching a movie on his passport computer and wasn't really paying attention. My wife-to-be and I both asked the officer to stamp our passports, because we both like collecting these stamps.

He laughed, stamped the passports, and handed them back.

Compared to US passport control (where they look at my passport like it's some sort of intriguing artistic masterpiece that requires thorough scrutiny), the EU is a breeze.
 
2010-10-18 05:02:30 PM  
Happened to me once. they had changed a boarding time, and so I turned up at the gate at the "right" time, got waved on board the plane with the wrong boarding pass. It was only when I noticed that my friend wasn't on board the plane that I realised something was up.

On the flight back that day I forgot to reset my watch to european time and missed the last connection. had to sleep the night in Copenhagen Airport (which they close at nights so it was a bit spooky)

I guess I am too stupid to be let near airports
 
2010-10-18 05:14:40 PM  
Cyborg77: I went on a trip to Switzerland last summer and when I was going through passport control to board my flight back to the US the security guy started getting very agitated and asking where my entry stamp was.

The Swiss are giving entry stamps now? Must be part of implementing Schengen... when I was there in 2007, they didn't stamp in either direction. Just in case I didn't want anyone to know I had been visiting their little neutral paradise of banks, chocolate and cheese.
 
2010-10-18 08:03:10 PM  
Check your boarding pass against your ID? Last time I flew, a few weeks back, the TSA agent chuckled and said "that's cute" but that she didn't need to see it.
 
2010-10-18 08:11:05 PM  
homarjr: Tobin_Lam: homarjr: What kind of airline lets you check-in prior to 24 hours before your flight?? The same flight numbers are used every single day, and not letting you check-in too early is the easiest way to alleviate the problem that happened in TFA.

A quick check find that Continental, Delta, American, and Southwest allow check in up to 24 hours in advance. Sounds pretty common to me.

Reading is difficult.


In that case, Southwest has Early-Bird checkin up to 36 hours in advance.
 
2010-10-18 08:28:11 PM  
Tobin_Lam: In that case, Southwest has Early-Bird checkin up to 36 hours in advance.

They automatically check you in then, but they still won't let you print your boarding pass (or see what your boarding position is) until 24 hours before the flight. It basically just saves you from having to remember to check in manually when the 24 hour window opens to get the best boarding position.
 
2010-10-19 03:35:51 AM  
They just look for certain sequences of digits at the end of the boarding pass numbers. If you change your flight at the last minute, or something else that would make you suspicious to them, you get a special four digit code at the end of your pass. Probably if you don't have those numbers, the guy just glances at the rest of it.
 
2010-10-19 10:33:52 AM  
Tabletop: They just look for certain sequences of digits at the end of the boarding pass numbers. If you change your flight at the last minute, or something else that would make you suspicious to them, you get a special four digit code at the end of your pass.

I fly enough to know when I've been "randomly selected." In fact, I fly enough that when I ask airline staff whether I need to do anything special vis-a-vis my boarding pass, they go in the computer and cheerily contravene all kinds of national security policies by not-so-randomly de-selecting me. Bad, bad airline staff! I am disappoint, especially because so I enjoy giving truthful answers to any kind of screeners, which make it clear that a) I am not up to anything dangerous or illegal, but b) damn, I lead a weird life.

All I have to say to you is this: "S" is not a digit.
 
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