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.