In a major security breach at the Mumbai airport, a Kingfisher Airlines passenger entered the airport, got a boarding pass and even cleared security check without a valid ticket for that day.
Gujarat-based Arunesh Chandra Nag, who had a Mum-bai-Ahmedabad Kingfisher ticket dated March 9, 2011, mistakenly reached the city airport on March 8, a day before the scheduled date of travel and was let in by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) guard, who ‘checked’ Nag’s e-ticket, at the gate of Terminal 1A.
Nag then collected his boarding pass from an automated self check-in kiosk inside the terminal. At the security check, the CISF official on duty once again let Nag through overlooking the date of departure on the boarding pass. Minutes before boarding the flight, Nag realised the goof-up and reported the matter to the airline’s ground staff.
“The CISF promptly took me to their office and made an entry of the incident in their register,” Nag told HT over the phone from Anand, where he resides.
A Kingfisher Airlines spokes-person confirmed the incident. “Our records show that the passenger (Nag) self checked-in on March 8,” said the spokesperson, adding that the kiosks check-in passengers up to 48 hours before the time of travel.
CISF officials, however, denied knowledge of the incident. “It is possible that the security guard at the gate failed to check the date, but we have no record of such an incident,” said Jitender Negi, senior commandant, CISF. “If the incident has taken place at all, the airline staff is responsible for the lapse as boarding cards are system generated.”
After the goof-up came to light, Nag’s boarding pass was withdrawn and his ticket rescheduled. He flew out on March 8 on a different Kingfisher flight.
JS Rana, deputy commissioner of security with the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), told HT that his office would look into the matter. According to the aviation security policy, a domestic passenger can enter the airport only two hours before the scheduled time of departure.
The Kingfisher spokesperson added that if the passenger had gone ahead to board the wrong flight on the wrong date mistakenly, the system would show an error when the boarding pass was swiped on the scanner at the boarding gate. “The staff on duty would immediately be alerted and would investigate the cause of the alert and not allow the guest to board till the cause of the alert was clarified.”