Boards wrong flight


A37-year-old man who did not have an air­line board­ing pass man­aged to clear three se­cu­rity check­points and fly from Mum­bai to Ra­jkot on a Jet Air­ways flight re­cently. The man was sup­posed to take a flight to Nag­pur, but boarded the one to Ra­jkot. Af­ter he reached Ra­jkot he re­alised he had flown to the wrong des­ti­na­tion and in­formed Jet of­fi­cials.

The in­ci­dent brings into ques­tion the se­cu­rity ar­range­ments at Mum­bai air­port made by both by the air­line and the Cen­tral In­dus­trial Se­cu­rity Force (CISF). The in­ci­dent oc­curred on April 25 af­ter Liju Vergh­ese landed in Mum­bai air­port from an in­ter­na­tional flight. He was booked for an on­ward jour­ney to Nag­pur and was sup­posed to board the 4.11 p.m. Jet Air­ways flight 9W 2165. Vergh­ese, who was re­port­edly in an ine­bri­ated state, cleared the CISF se­cu­rity check at do­mes­tic ter­mi­nal 1B of the Mum­bai air­port. With the se­cu­rity-stamped board­ing pass and a hand­bag, he then pro­ceeded to the se­cu­rity hold area to wait for the board­ing an­nounce­ment. Mean­while, a board­ing call was made for the JetKon­nect Mum­bai-Ra­jkot flight 9W 4079 sched­uled for a 3.25 p.m. de­par­ture from gate num­ber A2 of do­mes­tic ter­mi­nal 1C. The pas­sen­gers were to board the Ra­jkot flight us­ing an aer­o­bridge.

“The man left be­hind his hand­bag, which also con­tained his board­ing pass and for some rea­son pro­ceeded to board the flight to Ra­jkot,” said a source. First, he man­aged to walk past Jet’s cus­tomer ser­vice staff en­trusted with what’s called “pas­sen­ger rec­on­cil­i­a­tion”. It is a manda­tory se­cu­rity pro­ce­dure done to as­cer­tain whether the num­ber of pas­sen­gers who check in for a given flight is equal to the num­ber of pas­sen­gers who have boarded the air­craft. The air­line staffers man­u­ally check the seat num­bers on each board­ing pass and tally it with the data they gather from their check-in desks.

Vergh­ese man­aged to get past the CISF se­cu­rity per­son­nel who check whether the board­ing pass and the tags on the hand bag­gage of pas­sen­gers have the CISF’s se­cu­rity-cleared stamp. Then, prior to en­ter­ing the air­craft, Jet’s se­cu­rity per­son­nel man the doors to ver­ify whether all pas­sen­gers are car­ry­ing the board­ing passes for the right des­ti­na­tion, whether their board­ing passes and bag­gage tags carry the CISF se­cu­rity stamp. Vergh­ese crossed that bar­rier as well.

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