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bkkair
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ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 10:42 am

Reminds me of the guy who when to Auckland instead of Oakland a few years ago.


HANNAH LEE, South China Morning Post, July 9, 2003

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

A woman who thought she was flying to Hong Kong woke an hour before her plane landed to find that she was on the wrong flight, to the wrong place.
Her plan was to fly from Los Angeles to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific last Friday, but instead she arrived in Melbourne with Qantas Airways, 16 hours after taking off.


It was an "extremely rare" mistake, a Qantas spokeswoman said in Sydney yesterday. "The incident was in no way a security breach, but simply a boarding error," she stressed.

A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman in Hong Kong confirmed the incident.

"A Qantas flight was leaving from the same gate, but earlier," she said.

"The boarding pass had Cathay written on it, but the passenger managed to board the Qantas plane - we're not sure how.

"We noticed that she had checked in but did not show up on the flight. Then when it was nearly time to take off and we still couldn't get hold of her, we took her baggage off the plane."

Qantas said electronic boarding-pass readers which would have identified the boarding error were out of service in Los Angeles. Members of the aircraft's cabin crew failed to notice that the woman was on the wrong flight.

"The passenger had already passed through security and customs, and then she simply boarded the wrong aircraft," the spokeswoman said.

Arriving in Melbourne at 8am on Sunday, the passenger was put up in a nearby hotel, then left for Hong Kong on the first flight the next morning.

The unidentified woman arrived in Hong Kong at 6.15pm on Monday, she said. The airlines declined to give details about the woman.

 
LH423
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 11:11 am

The incident was in no way a security breach, but simply a boarding error," she stressed.

I'd like to know what Qantas' idea of a security breach is. For BA it's a security breach to let people board a flight even if it's still a BA flight going to the same city, let alone a different airline to a different country.

Seems very coincidental. Also, how did she get into Australia without an ETA and also how was it that it just so happened that her CX seat was empty on QF? I mean, it can happen but it seems like one of those times where everything came together to create one big screw up.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
kaitakfan
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 12:34 pm

I wouldnt only question what the hell is wrong with QANTAS gate agents for not paying attention to the tickets they are taking, but the woman should be under extreme focus! How thick headed can one person be to board a plane of the wrong airline to the wrong city and country! There really is no excuse for this lady as to how dense she could be! obviously another example of someone with their head so far up their ass they cant function.

"This is a destination check for QANTAS flight 94 to Melbourne"

Guess she never heard that one over the PA either!
 
N79969
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 12:45 pm

I wonder how scheit like this happens. Besides the announcements, there are signs at the gate. The lady should have noticed the conspicous absence of any Cantonese spoken on board and so on. Mind f*&!ing boggling.
 
TG992
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 12:54 pm

Guys, not everyone travels as much as us.

This woman may not have spoken zero or limited English, it may have even been her first time flying. Since the flight was headed for MEL, no Chinese would have been spoken so she may have been unable to understand the announcements.

It is the sole responsibility of the airline staff to ensure this sort of thing doesn't happen to inexperienced pax. To blame it on the pax is ignorant and cold-hearted.
-
 
tekelberry
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 12:58 pm

Good thing both airlines are members of Oneworld...making it easy for her to travel from MEL to HKGBig grin
 
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yyz717
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 1:16 pm

The airline AND the woman are at fault equally. As flabbergasted as I am at QF letting her board and not catching her, I'm equally surprized at this women not picking up on the many, many cues that she may be on the wrong flight: airline, departure time, destination, announcements, etc etc etc.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
N79969
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 1:19 pm

TG992,

I disagree. The airline certainly did mess up. But when you step on a local bus, subway, or whatever, any adult should pay attention to where it is going. I think she should have had the presence of mind to at least stand up, point at her boarding pass, and grunt at the first sign of error.
 
Mr.BA
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 2:43 pm

N79969,

I think what TG992 is trying to point out is that she might be an inexperienced flyer. Might even be her first time so she has limited knowledge on such things... maybe she just didn't know. But the airline should have noticed there's an extra person onboard!

But I wonder why she didn't turn up on time? I'm sure even the most inexperienced flyers have right time in mind?

Cheers,

alvin
Boeing747 万岁!
 
tekelberry
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 2:52 pm

But I wonder why she didn't turn up on time? I'm sure even the most inexperienced flyers have right time in mind?

I believe the article states that she arrived too EARLY.

Inexperienced flyer or not, she should have heard, "QANTAS FLIGHT XXX WITH NONSTOP SERVICE TO MELBOURNE IS NOW BOARDING." If she didn't hear that, I'm sure the gate had departure information on it.
 
n949wp
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 3:36 pm

Don't forget it was a late night departure and the relative lack of windows at the Tom Bradley gate area. The lady probably don't even have a chance to see the aircraft she was actually boarding.

How come so many people automatically assumed that she could comprehend the English-language announcements and information?  Confused With LAX being the international gateway it is, the presence of a fair number of non-English speakers can only be expected. Coupled with the possibility of an inexperienced (or even first-time) flyer, a hardware breakdown and overworked gate agents, you got yourself a recipe for screw-ups.
 
noelg
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:09 pm

Reminds me of the British couple who booked flights on Expedia to Sydney Australia, but ended up in a small town called Sydney, Canada.

Apparently they didn't get suspicious that they were flying on an Air Canada flight, and then boarded a twin engined turboprop from Quebec to Sydney...They claimed that they thought it was a small aircraft to be flying half way across the world but didn't even mention it...

The funny thing is they were trying to sue Expedia for "not being clear enough on their website"....

Some people just wind me up!!

Noel
 
airmale
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:17 pm

This has happened the second time in Australia, I distinctly remember reading a thread here in 2000 about two Chinese men who boarded a wrong flight, they were headed for Taipei and ended up somewhere in Australia. I cant recall which airlines were involved
.....up there with the best!
 
TG992
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:25 pm

That would be the couple in Sydney who instead of boarding China Airlines to Auckland, boarded Air China to Beijing!
-
 
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DaV
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 8:42 pm

Nah... maybe she just wanted to take some more flights. I wonder if she's an
a.net member Big grin

DaV
Two monologues do not make a dialogue
 
srilankan_340
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 9:12 pm

"Good thing both airlines are members of Oneworld...making it easy for her to travel from MEL to HKG"


Hope she got the extra air miles too  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


People are often unreasonable, illogical and self- centered: Forgive them anyway - Mother Theresa
 
luv2fly
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Wed Jul 09, 2003 10:18 pm

The bottom line is that QF employees boarding the aircraft should have caught the different boarding pass, also if she did not travel much she would have asked for help finding her seat, why did not someone catch it then? I do believe some fault is on the traveler tho if English is not her first language then she would have only understood so much. Will QF be fined for this mistake?
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
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PW100
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:18 am

Arriving in Melbourne at 8am on Sunday, the passenger was put up in a nearby hotel, then left for Hong Kong on the first flight the next morning

WOW, a whole day of free spotting @ MEL! Need to find out how to pull this one on my next trip!!
Just shows how important it is to keep your photogear in your carry-on!

PW100

[Edited 2003-07-09 20:20:02]
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
 
LH423
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:54 am

The blame rests solely on the airline. As an airline employee, we are held responsible for making sure that only the right people get on the flight. I've received disciplinary action for the same circumstance. I had to manually board passengers at the gate and I accidentally boarded two passengers who were not on the flight. The main difference. The only thing that was different about the boarding card was one number in the flight number, let alone a different airline, destination, and flight number.

We have lots of passengers on many different airlines departing when our BA flights depart, some out of the same gate, but we know well enough to recognize the difference between an Alitalia card, or a Lufthansa card, or a TACA card. These gate agents should have been paying more attention.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
aa61hvy
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:56 am

Sounds like "Home Alone 2"

This lady is an idiot. Get with the program!!
Go big or go home
 
bobrayner
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 4:08 am

Why does only one party have to be to blame?

They're both to blame.  Smile
Cunning linguist
 
727_Gal
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 4:45 am

I agree with Bobrayner - the fault is both with the airline and the woman here. I could understand if, perhaps, the woman mistakenly boarded a plane that was from the same airline as her intended flight.

Last I checked, this:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank Schaefer



looks nothing like this:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dickson Ching



Not to mention, shouldn't she have noticed the boarding call "Now boarding Qantas flight XXX with service to Melbourne"

However, the airline definitely should've checked this out. They say that their boarding pass machines were broken - so what? Do they not have eyes with which to check passes?

All in all, it was a huge comedy of errors, everything worked out alright in the end. It just worries me that it is apparently easy, given the "right" situation, to end up on the wrong plane. The fact that this happened (on the CX's side) because the boarding pass machines were broken is proving to me that we're relying too much on technology these days. Technology is a great thing, to be certain, but it can't be our crutch to everything, nor is having a broken machine an acceptable excuse for errors such as these.
 
travelin man
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 4:57 am

Well, hopefully Qantas will mitigate this type of error at LAX when they finally move their departures to AA's T4 instead of the TBIT. Of course, then people like this will probably end up on the red-eyes to JFK, ORD, BOS, FLL, or MIA.
 
AerLingus
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 6:41 am

The gate agent should have noticed the difference between a Qantas boarding pass and a Cathay Pacific boarding pass. All people involved were not thinking that day.
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
 
9V-SPJ
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 7:19 am

TBIT has nice big windows out of which you can clearly see the aircraft!
I love to watch a huge 747-400 being towed into the gate!

9V-SPJ
 
TKMCE
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 7:44 am

Not every passenger is a spotter and while I dont know anything about LAX, in quite a few airports in the night there is precious little you can see from some gates .

Also as a few people have already said, dont assume English is understood by everybody. The last Qatar Airways flight I took from my hometown, about 50% of the pax had no way of understanding any of the inflight announcements as they were not familiar with any of the languages spoken.

A first time flier , on a long haul flight can find the situation un nerving, esp with a large number of fellow passengers in wide bodies.

*****
Inexperienced flyer or not, she should have heard, "QANTAS FLIGHT XXX WITH NONSTOP SERVICE TO MELBOURNE IS NOW BOARDING."
*****

Not much use if she is a non english speaker and having reached the gate early sees virtually every other passenger getting up to board! (and a LAX MEL QF flight is very very unlikely to have an announcement in Mandarin!).

And if the flight was light, it is very likely thee would be no one sitting next to her as well.

So dont jump to blame the poor passenger. Alll the passengers are not street smart as you are and enough and more has bveen written about passengers who are nevrous flyers.

And these type of mistakes do happen. Two weeks back, I witnessed one elderly gentleman pulled out of bus I was in waiting to be taken to the Fly Be aircraft to GLA at BHX airport. The gentleman was a pax to EDI boarding from the next gate and the gate agent didnt spot the mistake initially but spotted it before the bus left for the aircraft.

So go easy on blaming the poor pax. Not every one can afford to jet set around the world and in some part of the world the flights are much more expensive than bus fares as well with the result that flying is still a unfamiliar luxury to quite a few.

Cheers.
 
airlinelover
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 9:06 am

Poor pax.. poor pax.. 2 words: YEAH RIGHT.. The airlien should sue the lady for wahtever it cost to have her on the flight from LAX-MEL, and then the flight from MEL-HKG.. lol

Chris
Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
 
GARUDAROD
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 9:40 am


Actually, at LAX/TBIT passengers trying to board the wrong flight happens
quite frequently. As was mentioned above, alot of the people travelling
from their do not speak English. When GARUDA used to fly to LAX, we
had people all the time stepping up to board that werent on the flight.
The problem was they were scheduled to fly TACA or LACSA or something
like that and the only thing they understood was the Gate number.
The gate agents should have stopped this woman, but mistakes do happen.
I'm surprised though that the seat count before departure did not match
the manifest. That is last line of defense.
Cargo doesn't whine, moan, or complain
 
emiratesa345
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 11:20 am

I'm not sure what the procedures are there, but in Toronto I had to show my boarding pass before entering the gate, in the middle of the jetway, and then once again at the door of the aircraft. Could 3 people make the same mistake? Or do they not do this there?

EmiratesA345 Smile/happy/getting dizzy
You and I were meant to fly, Air Canada!
 
prosa
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 1:01 pm

While this is a major slip-up, I don't see why it would be a security breach. After all, the passenger went through screening.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
TKMCE
Posts: 819
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RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 1:05 pm

Yes
Poor PAX. It is easy to be full of self congratulation to oneself and heap scorn on that unfortunate pax. But as I exolained already these things happen .It is not her fault. Esp if the boarding pass readers were unavailable, the gate agent has to be extra careful and as Garudarod said, thow about the mismatch of the seat count?

And as for airline suing the pax? You joking Airlinelover?Not only will they loose (or that is what my undertanding of coomon sense logic tell s me - I am no expert on US law), the last thing the airline wants it okeep this in the news any longer than they can help it!

Get real!
 
USAJPNflyer
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 6:21 am

RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:58 pm

About the styles of boarding passes - not every pass is preprinted with the airline's name...

I have several boarding passes from my past travels - some of them are not preprinted with the air carrier's name. Rather, along with the fields for flight number, boarding time, and gate, there is another field marked "AIRLINE," that is also printed by the computer.

An example where this can happen is at Tokyo-Narita, where JAL and ANA may do the ground handling work for some other carriers. Sometimes this means that those 'client' carriers may use the 'host' carrier's boarding pass stock. Of course the client carrier's name will be printed on the boarding pass, but when you are looking at boarding passes rather quickly, they may all look the same - you'd have to look closely at the "AIRLINE" field to catch the difference.

Still, this only underscores the importance of checking documents throughly. They may look more alike than you think.

Just my two cents...
 
744rules
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2002 3:34 am

RE: ERROR:Woman Boards QF To MEL Instead Of CX To HKG

Thu Jul 10, 2003 8:30 pm

Isn't it standard procedure that the cabin crews makes a headcount and report this figure to the gate-agent or captain? Somewhere along the line the figures are not matching (loadsheet vs paxlist vs headcount vs .....).

So in some way there was a security problem

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