Monday, July 4, 2011

Who Is On My Flight?

"Oluwaseun Noibi, 24, reportedly boarded a flight in New York last week using an expired boarding pass with someone else’s name on it. The flight crew didn’t even realize there was a stowaway on the plane until halfway through the flight, when they realized they had an extra passenger in a premium seat. TSA insists Noibi was screened properly but that it didn’t “properly authenticate the passenger’s documentation.”" Read the full blog on

This incident is pure incompetence and someone not paying attention. The fact that it slipped through the TSA does not absolve the airline from the responsibility of making sure who is flying on board their aircraft. All airlines check boarding passes electronically against their departure control system database to ensure all checked in passengers have boarded the aircraft.

A few airlines still have the Senior Cabin Crew Member perform a final check, at the aircraft door, of the boarding pass against the passport. It is not only for the identity of the passenger but more importantly  the flight number, destination and date;  followed by a quick passengers count to make sure it tallies with the manifest.

Airlines stopped doing this because they want to board passengers fast, this procedure does not delay a turnaround, Air Arabia turns around their flights in 45 minutes.

The TSA procedures are indirectly making it easier for airlines to relax their procedures. This is not a security problem, a passenger with a valid boarding pass can still get on the wrong flight. A lot of countries have security checks performed prior to Check In which ensures that the passenger has a valid ticket and is issued with the proper boarding pass.

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