Fake boarding passes

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by efoss3, Jun 30, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. efoss3
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    efoss3 Silver Member

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  2. TRAVELSIG
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Crappy reporting. Did the reporter even try to find out from VX how the guy managed to get on board the flight to LAX?

    Oh wait... it's "only" a blog on the latimes website, so journalistic standards need not apply.
     
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  4. Lufthansa Flyer
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    are they not scanning bp's at the gate? Where's our beloved TSA and their BP checks at Security??? I couldnt pull that off if I tried.
     
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    He could have passed security with a fake BP that was edited/photo-shopped for a flight that day. That wouldn't (or shouldn't) have gotten him past the scanners at the gate, though.
     
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  6. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    There have been a couple of threads about the vulnerability of the whole boarding pass process, especially using fake ones or the lack of oversight by the last set of eyeballs at the gate. And apparently it happens quite frequently by accident, as per that other thread about the passenger that was on the wrong flight -- an international one at that.

    Like I said before, the technology exists to mitigate the problems, but until "something bad" happens, chances are very little will be done about it. Just from the TSA response you can see that they consider this minor even though the guy made it all the way to the plane and airborne.
     
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  7. MSPeconomist
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    There should be an investigation to identify the document checker(s) who let him through to airport security.

    I don't understand why the boarding pass scanners didn't beep in a very obvious way so that the Virgin GA prevented him from boarding. When we were GAs for the day at the ATL DO, the DL scanners made it difficult even not to notice that a passenger had an exit row seat. I suspect there would have been even more of an alarm if a boarding pass for a different day or flight had been scanned.

    I hope they also investigate how he got his collection of boarding passes--i.e., photoshop or accomplices.
     
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  8. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I think it all depends on what information is stored in the boarding pass, but also what that information is compared to by the gate scanner.

    Some of the boarding passes (not the mobile ones) are horribly inadequate, as they use 2D barcodes and don't store much info. A QR code can store up to 7,100 characters, which should be more than enough to store basic passenger information (not too much since these things are never discarded properly), plus flight info and some other critical details that should make "faking it" almost impossible.

    But even if you store all that info, and all the scan does is compare flight numbers or something, then it's all for naught. That's like your cops looking at your driver's license... they can look at your picture and even verify that it's not expired, but unless they run it through the system they won't know if you have outstanding warrants. :)
     
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  9. MSPeconomist
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    Sounds like it's time :p for the government to mandate how the gate boarding pass scanners function.
     
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  10. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Please not that. it takes long enough to board.
     
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  11. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Yeah they'll have Congressional hearings and set up a committee. Then in 5 years they'll create a process that will be both inefficient and ineffective (not to mention inconvenient) and it will cost $3 billion a year to run.
     
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  12. MSPeconomist
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    and it will be operated by rude and illiterate unionized federal employees who make up whatever rules they feel like.
     
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  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    How's that different from today? Oh, right, I missed the "federal" part.

    Actually, it was a joke playing off of complaints often heard OTOB about rude GAs making up rules. My experiences have generally been good.

    Naa, it has check off the pax -- how else would you receive credit for the flight, have your next segments canceled if you miss one, remove someone's bags if they don't board an international flight etc.

    What probably happened is that the scanner was broken and the GA did the reconciliation manually... later. Which is presumably how the FAs found out during flight. Unless the guy plomped himself down in an F set, I doubt they'd have otherwise noticed as they probably don't reconcile Y pax with the manifest.
     

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