An Interesting Story from a Fellow Business Traveler

During my trip from Hell to Ohio last month, I met a nice guy. He was a fellow business traveler, on his way home from Germany. He told me a story that was interesting, but scary, and I thought I would share.

After a grueling 9 day work trip in Berlin, he finally got on the plane home. When he got to his seat, there was a gentleman sitting in it. He said, “Excuse me, I think you’re in my seat.” The other gentleman pulled out his ticket, and said, “Hmmm. My ticket says this is the correct seat.” They both went up to the flight attendant and explained the situation. This is when they realized that this guy not only had the same seat as my new friend, but his ticket had my new friend’s name on it. In fact, it was the exact same ticket. This man had gone through security and gotten on the flight with a ticket not in his name, and no one had noticed.

As I write this out, I realize how preposterous it sounds. I really, really hope that this guy that I met was punch drunk and exhausted and made the whole thing up, because otherwise it is just too scary.


  1. Someone I know who wouldn’t make up a lie (because he’s a minister) told me 3 years ago on a mission trip he was about to board when he noticed his seat had changed from what he thought he reserved. He looked closer and realized he had one of the other trip participant’s boarding pass and that man had his. They both had cleared security just fine.

  2. I’ve heard an Australian minister tell a story of getting through various immigration and security checks at an Italian airport with his wife’s passport.

    As for two people boarding with the same ticket, it’s not impossible for it to happen. On Australian domestic flights using a major carrier, it wouldn’t be picked up until boarding passes were scanned at the gate.

    For smaller carriers with manual gate procedures, it might not be picked up until people are on the plane.

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