Man boarded flight using cellphone photo of another passenger's ticket

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Creative idea but without incapacitating the orig ticket holder and stashing them inside a storage closet how’d he expect it to work?


How in the world did he even get past the gate? I thought that scanner thing would flash red or something if a duplicate ticket was detected. Is it just a machine that goes beep?


He had a ticket for a later flight but wanted to get home early, according to CNN.

FFS. What a bell-end.


Often wondered about the ‘facsimile’ authorization (cell-phone) culture we’ve entered. For instance, issue a credit card, with security chip and diffraction gratings etc, and then forget all that and let the cell-phone stand in its place complete with near field communication to POS (any ‘flippers’ near-by?). There is a reason that required paper ballots, over mere screen entry, are more secure - and that is that it is less convenient to counterfeit a physical ‘ticket’.


If there are empty seats he could just get in one and no-one would ever challenge him.

I bet that the machines warn but that the UX is very poor, the warnings are usually bullshit, staff are under pressure to get everyone one the plane, etc. Maybe they caught him because once the plane is boarded they have to close out the double, headcount, etc.


Ahhh, It looks like it was a SouthWest flight so their free-for-all-seating process might have worked for him if someone had stayed in Temple that day.

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We’ll learn more in today’s episode of Security Theater

Agencylife Bingo GIF by MX Player

If it’s a difficult and/or expensive issue to correct…

Billy Gardell Reaction GIF by CBS


i’ve noticed that e-tickets to ballgames and concerts usually have some kind of motion element on them so that it can’t be faked with a screenshot. airlines have not thought of this?


And he would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those overbooked flights!

Scooby Doo Party GIF by MOODMAN


I have noticed that there are often discarded paper boarding passes near the self checkin machines. Until you plug the paper hole, no amount of fancy electronic verification of cell barcodes will seal it up. If the guy had gone to a business center in the airport and printed out the screenshot on his phone, nobody would be surprised it worked.

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I’ve wondered why tickets are even needed. Just show your ID. If they know who you are, they know what flight you’re on.

I wonder about a lot of things.


The article says it was a Delta flight, which has assigned seating. But I did wonder, what if this was a SWA flight? It would have been more tricky to figure out who the scofflaw was. In any event, if the flight was full, with someone without a seat, I don’t think they’d be able to take off, so they still would have returned to the gate.

Them flight attendants get puffed up fast if you’re not in your seat when that aircraft is moving, taxiing.

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Should have stayed in the bathroom, buddy.

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AP states that Fleurizard was transported in custody to a laboratory in Pallet Town for questioning due to his status as a rare combo plant/fire-type passenger.


This was the subject of an Ask Metafilter post by someone who was on the flight. There was a lot of curiosity about how the guy had gotten past security in the first place.

Airlines know who is supposed to be on their planes. They’re not like Greyhound buses… Had this been a Southwest flight, they’d need to check the IDs of all the passengers against their flight manifest. It would take a while, but they could do it.

Its just a QR code that gets scanned at the gate

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When I lived in Kazakhstan I was on an overbooked flight. I was asked to sit on the baggage in the back of the plane (it was a Yak 40) along with the flight attendant whose designated seat was also occupied by a passenger. The flight attendant and I had a great time doing vodka shots on other people’s bales of clothes from China.

I don’t think they allow this anymore.

I have a lot of crazy stories about flying in the former Soviet Union…


Tickets to ballgames and concerts (whether physical or electronic) are the actual tickets and are generally transferable. Possession of a legitimate ticket is the only way to know whether an individual has paid to enter the venue, so it’s important to make it easy to authenticate the ticket and hard to duplicate it.

Airline boarding passes are just boarding passes. The actual ticket is an electronic record in the airline’s computer, tied to the identity of a specific person, and the bar/QR code is just a convenient way to reference that record. Authentication is mostly outsourced to TSA, but if two people end up on a plane with the same boarding pass, the airlines (or the cops) will check IDs to see who actually has a ticket for that flight, regardless of what their boarding passes say.

It’s kind of like the difference between cash and a personal check (but with even fewer security features needed for a boarding pass than a personal check, because the check doesn’t get authenticated until quite some time AFTER you hand it to the person you are paying).

TSA is starting to do that. On three of my last four flights the TSA ID checker didn’t scan or even look at my boarding pass–I just put my ID in a little ID-reading machine and the TSO asked my name and waved me on through, presumably after their computer showed them some info about me and what flight I was on (I’ve not seen what exactly is on their screen).

As per above, the thing you show to board your flight is a boarding pass, not a ticket. US airlines phased out paper tickets almost entirely at the beginning of this millennium, and IATA completely stopped printing airline ticket stock in 2008.

But boarding passes are still extremely convenient for airlines. They can scan a boarding pass much quicker than they can check IDs–even the TSA’s little ID checking machine takes significantly longer (and probably costs significantly more) than the scanners that the airlines use at the gate. So they outsource the ID checking to TSA, and then rely on the fact that very few people are going to both (1) have a legit ticket to get past TSA and (2) also have a fake boarding pass they use to board a different flight. AND they have safeguards in place even for that situation, like doing a headcount before departure to make sure the number of passengers on the plane is consistent with their passenger manifest.


That’s the thing. They don’t know who you are. I mean, the information is in the system, but calling it up on the system is another step in the process without a barcode to scan.