Elderly lady steals…boarding pass?

File this story under the “people at the airport are really strange” file.walker

A friend was traveling last week on Southwest. He was standing near the boarding stanchions, checking his email on his phone and generally minding his own business. His Business Select boarding pass was in his hand, with his low boarding number visible. People were starting to line up, but boarding was still a few minutes away. A scene very familiar to business travelers!

But what happened next… That’s a new one for me. An elderly lady walked up to my friend and snatched his boarding pass, stating, “I’ll take that.” She handed him her C boarding pass and said, “This is too high. I’ll use yours instead. You don’t mind.” And she just walked off.

My friend wasn’t sure how to handle this. He’s a really nice guy, so chasing the lady and tackling her wasn’t really an option. Plus, he was just kind of dumbfounded-no one expects a random person to come just take their boarding pass out of their hand, much less an old lady!

Luckily the gate agent witnessed the exchange and was able to get my friend’s boarding pass back with minimal awkwardness. And that’s exactly what I would have recommended-to quietly let the gate agent know and let them handle it.

But seriously-such a weird situation!

Readers, has anyone ever tried to take your boarding pass?

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  1. I use an electronic pass for most of my domestic travel, so it might be harder to snatch. All boarding passes, no matter the type, have the passenger name on them. I suspect you could get into big trouble for pretending to be someone else. Notify the gate agent because they may consider it to be a security risk.

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