Security lapses on Delta or Standard Operating Procedure?

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Jun 5, 2016
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#1
I took a flight from Charlotte, NC to Atlanta, GA on May 25, 2016 on Delta Airlines that was very, very odd.

I printed my boarding pass at home and, after checking one bag, I proceeded through security to the departure gate. When I scanned my boarding pass at the gate, I was told by the gate attendant that "it had already been used" so I should board and speak to a flight attendant. Instead of going to my seat, I explained to the FA what I had been told. As I waited outside the cockpit, the FA checked to see if someone was occupying my seat. Indeed, there was a man seated in my seat with a boarding pass with my name on it! (For reference here, I am female with a common feminine name.) He was asked multiple times for his name and ID. Finally, he gave his name but couldn't produce anything except a credit card to verify his identity. He claimed to never have noticed that the name on his boarding pass was not his. According to the FA, his name was not listed on that flight and, when Delta checked further, found out he was ticketed for a flight that left the day before. Because of this information, he was asked to leave the plane, which he did. For the record, he did not have any carry-on luggage.

So, my questions are:
1. How did he get through TSA with a boarding pass from the day before?
2. Alternatively, how did he get through TSA with a boarding pass with my name that obviously didn't match his ID?
3. How did he get through TSA when he couldn't produce any ID except a credit card?
4. Why would the gate attendant allow me to board the plane when my boarding pass "had already been used"? Isn't that an obvious security risk?

After spending the better part of my day trying to get these questions answered by Delta, I have turned to you. I spoke to 6 or 7 people with Delta to try to get an answer to what I believe was a security issue and no one wanted to help. Thoughts?
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#2
Oh boy.....this sounds like a huge breach in security both on the part of TSA and Delta, but definitely a major failure by TSA as your points 1-3 state.

I would not focus on Delta but rather on TSA. I would contact the head of security at Charlotte and communicate to them what you wrote here.

In defense of Delta, once passengers pass through security they are not asked to present ID again. When the boarding pass was scanned, the agent should have noticed the female name as opposed to a male name....not that there aren't men named Lesley, etc. so without knowing your name, it could be acceptable.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#3
He probably had ID and produced it when passing through security. The agent must have not noticed the name didn't match the ticket. Then he boarded. I don't understand how he received your ticket? Is this someone with access to your account or a total random stranger?
It does make sense he was on this flight and seat as this is what his boarding pass said. Unclear how he got ahold of it.
The airline won't tell you this information anyway so I would just forget about it and change your username and password.
 
Likes: SierraRose 49
Aug 28, 2015
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#4
Oh and your last question, you were allowed to board bc you were obviously legit so the agents just passed you along so the next agent would be stuck with the potential problem.
 
Likes: jsn55

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
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#5
Oh, @CJ Collins - I'm aghast that this happened. Your questions are 100% legitimate and I agree that TSA needs to be contacted. How far they will take this to answer you, I don't know, though.

HOW could this man have no ID and pass thru Security? Incredible. I'd get in touch with the head of TSA at Charlotte Douglas Intl Airport and request that s/he investigate this.

And I agree with my colleague that it's a good idea to change your password on the Delta site. And maybe consider signing up for TSA PreCheck, which will give an extra layer of identity protection.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#6
After spending the better part of my day trying to get these questions answered by Delta, I have turned to you. I spoke to 6 or 7 people with Delta to try to get an answer to what I believe was a security issue and no one wanted to help. Thoughts?
Delta does not owe you an explanation about its security issues. You boarded, got your seat, flew, and reached your destination. It's done.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
I would email the TSA also. I think the passenger was a scammer bought some hacked ticket/boarding pass, ie yours. How did he get in? Maybe used a different ticket to pass TSA -/ ie totally refundable fare, gets in and cancels that and tries to use your ticket. Every TSA agent not only checks my name and boarding pass and also signs the boarding pass, which I think is good protocol. I find the fake passenger's story hard to believe. In the long security line one does not look at the boarding pass at all? Sounds like he was part of the scam. Change all passwords.
 
#8
I would email the TSA also. I think the passenger was a scammer bought some hacked ticket/boarding pass, ie yours. How did he get in? Maybe used a different ticket to pass TSA -/ ie totally refundable fare, gets in and cancels that and tries to use your ticket. Every TSA agent not only checks my name and boarding pass and also signs the boarding pass, which I think is good protocol. I find the fake passenger's story hard to believe. In the long security line one does not look at the boarding pass at all? Sounds like he was part of the scam. Change all passwords.
What's really strange is that the phony passenger would take the risk of running this scam for such a short flight - - Charlotte to Atlanta.
 
#9
Could be a DL employee checking their security. They would have a TSA access pass in their name . .,. They get on the plane. See at what step in the process it gets caught.


TSA doesn't care. The only way to catch the guy was with HIS bp showing which TSA agent let him through.

Cmon, a scammer wants to go from CLT -ATL? In a female name? With access to your PNR, on the same flight the day before?
 
#10
Could be a DL employee checking their security. They would have a TSA access pass in their name . .,. They get on the plane. See at what step in the process it gets caught.


TSA doesn't care. The only way to catch the guy was with HIS bp showing which TSA agent let him through.

Cmon, a scammer wants to go from CLT -ATL? In a female name? With access to your PNR, on the same flight the day before?
I think that 'splains it. Brilliant!
 
Likes: AAGK
Sep 19, 2015
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#11
I think a Delta employee would realize they would not be on the manifest and would not bother to risk it --they do get very inexpensive if not free flights. Why would a scammer use a ticket for a short flight? Who knows. I have yet to figure out why someone who stole my credit card number used the card for one billing cycle and only used it for a for pizza and a deli -- used it about 6 times in a month for a grand total of $48 dollars when there was several thousand dollars of available credit.
 
Likes: AMA
Feb 9, 2016
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#13
My thinking is that, if this were a true security breach, the passenger would have been detained until the police cane and the passenger would have been cuffed and escorted off the plane. This wood have occurred in full view of everyone on the plane. these days airlines do not try to hide their "show of force". They want the public to know and understand that they have power. The fact that no scene was made and this guy was able to deplaned without issue means that something above board was going on that the employees and passenger understood. Probably a random security check
 
Apr 15, 2016
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#14
The first question I asked was whether or not this was a morning flight? If this guy entered the airport for a flight the previous day but didn't make the flight for some idiotic reason, perhaps he didn't want to pay for another ticket. I agree the security check is more likely, especially since the police weren't called, but perhaps he was just trying to get away with something that wasn't nefarious.
 
Likes: SierraRose 49

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#15
The first question I asked was whether or not this was a morning flight? If this guy entered the airport for a flight the previous day but didn't make the flight for some idiotic reason, perhaps he didn't want to pay for another ticket. I agree the security check is more likely, especially since the police weren't called, but perhaps he was just trying to get away with something that wasn't nefarious.
I had the same thought! It still doesn't explain how he got a copy of someone else's boarding pass.....also, why he didn't have ID (did have it but didn't want to show Delta?)
 
Apr 15, 2016
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#16
I had the same thought! It still doesn't explain how he got a copy of someone else's boarding pass.....also, why he didn't have ID (did have it but didn't want to show Delta?)
That's actually why I thought he probably was already in the airport and had missed a flight. I think he didn't want to show his ID. Of course, I once had a purse overturn in the security machine, my drivers license fell out and they wouldn't open the machine to get it, so maybe he just lost it. Who knows. It's definitely a weird one.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#17
That's actually why I thought he probably was already in the airport and had missed a flight. I think he didn't want to show his ID. Of course, I once had a purse overturn in the security machine, my drivers license fell out and they wouldn't open the machine to get it, so maybe he just lost it. Who knows. It's definitely a weird one.
Love it.....security requires ID but wouldn't give you access to your ID!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#19
Oh, @CJ Collins - I'm aghast that this happened. Your questions are 100% legitimate and I agree that TSA needs to be contacted. How far they will take this to answer you, I don't know, though.

HOW could this man have no ID and pass thru Security? Incredible. I'd get in touch with the head of TSA at Charlotte Douglas Intl Airport and request that s/he investigate this.

And I agree with my colleague that it's a good idea to change your password on the Delta site. And maybe consider signing up for TSA PreCheck, which will give an extra layer of identity protection.
I think he probably had ID when checking in but refused to produce it on the plane. I'm afraid that situations like this arise every day with the TSA. Nobody really looks at anything closely. It's doubtful that an explanation will ever appear. I agree with my colleagues, change passwords and report to the TSA chief in Charlotte.

I don't understand how he thought he could get by sitting in your seat, since it was 99% sure that you would show up for the flight. Might be one of those peeps who just likes to get away with stuff for a personal thrill.
 
Likes: AAGK