A harmless case of mistaken identity, or a security nightmare? The story of two women with similar names who were assigned the same boarding pass is certainly cause for consideration.
As news.com.au reports, two women — one named Michelle Cheung and the other Michelle Cheng — both had passes for the same seat on a Virgin Airlines flight from Perth to Sydney.
It turned out that one of them was in fact a Qantas customer who had somehow received a Virgin boarding pass, and had had her bags stowed on the Virgin plane. Luckily, it was sorted out on the ground before take-off.
Now, I’m sure both airlines are worried about how this could happen, and are taking measures to avoid a repetition.
I was in a similar situation on a KLM flight from Mumbai to Amsterdam many years ago, when another man came along with a boarding pass for the seat I was already occupying.
The solution then was to upgrade me to business class (as I’d paid a full-price fare and the other chap was on a discounted ticket), which I certainly didn’t mind.
Security wasn’t so high on my personal worry list back then, but I think I really would be uncomfortable if the same thing happened today.