Having conquered the imminent threat of self-immolating shampoo, airline safety has returned to “iron-clad” status. Yeah right, all the terrorist need is a credit card with the same as someone flying that day. Using such a card, one can print a boarding pass and get on the aircraft. Creating the card would require access to a credit card writer, which hasn’t proved an obstacle for numerous identity thieves and ATM hackers.
Brandon reveals how he stumbled on this insidious arcana, inside…
- “During spring break earlier this year, I was flying from DFW to Phoenix to see my sister. I had a late flight on America West, but mistakenly went to the American Airlines quick-check-in kiosk (this was just after the two airlines had decided to merge together). I swiped my credit card and I had to input which city I was headed to. It asked me if I wanted to print my boarding pass, but there were also the names of a few other people of whom I could’ve printed their boarding pass as well… I thought this was strange, but this was really the first time I had made a flight by myself so I didn’t know exactly what that meant. I went to the gate indicated by my boarding pass, stood in line, and even though a red warning light flashed when my boarding pass was scanned, I was allowed on the plane. When I saw someone in my seat, I knew something was amiss and, after about an hour delay, was told by the stewardess that I was on the wrong flight.
Here’s the catch: there was someone else on that plane with my name and who was also headed to Phoenix, who had 4 or so in his party. The reason I was able to print off his boarding pass was because I HAD THE SAME NAME AS HIM AND MY CREDIT CARD REFLECTED AS MUCH. That’s all you need to do to print someone else’s boarding pass! Have the same name and walk up to one of those kiosks to check in! And not only that person’s boarding pass but also anyone else whose ticket had been purchased by that credit card.
I do commend America West, even though I missed my flight, the attendant was able to get me on a flight the next day, (in first class even!). However, I was still perplexed as to why I was able to actually board a plane for which I did not pay a ticket, merely because I had the same name as someone on the flight. I never reported what happened to the security at the airport, because it was spring break, and I didn’t feel like reporting all that had happened. “