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Small mis(s)take, big turbulence

Small mis(s)take, big air turbulence

india Updated: Aug 01, 2006 02:57 IST

Something seemingly innocuous like fog or a bird can spoil your flight. Now you can add one more to the list: a wrong title before your name.

If you are a woman and your boarding pass describes you as Mr XYZ, you are in for a lot of running around just as it is time to board the aircraft.

Since there is a directive that no woman shall pass through security checks if she is carrying a pass with the title 'Mr' and since getting the title wrong is a common mistake, there is always some chaos regarding this at the domestic airports. The CISF officials say that the rule is not new but is being strictly enforced after the Mumbai blasts.

If a woman discovers what only seems like a tiny mistake but is a giant hassle — an 'R' in place of an 'S' — as she is hefting her hand baggage through the X-ray machine and proceeding for a frisk, the tension can be two-fold. She will have to go all the way back to the airline counter, stand in the queue all over again and get a fresh boarding pass issued.

And if it is too much trouble hauling her bags all the way back to the airline counter, the only alternative is leaving it unattended at the X-Ray machine. And we all know that there have been instances when people have walked off with other passengers’ bags.

An elderly lady recently found herself in this situation at the Mumbai airport. An airline employee offered to fetch her a fresh boarding pass but by the time the man returned with the pass, they were announcing the last call for boarding.

Airline employees say 'Ms' becomes 'Mr' when people are careless while booking tickets online. At other times, the carelessness is on the part of the travel agents who book the tickets or the airline executives who issue the passes.

Whatever the reason, it pays to check your boarding pass before you move away from the counter. Or you could be in for one bumpy ride even before you board the aircraft.