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Jacks757
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Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 3:12 pm

HI

A few weeks ago a man ended up in SMF on HP/US. He came in on the midnight flight from LAS. He originally was heading to some city in Florida, I believe MIA. That is a pretty big screw up since he traveled in the complete opposite direction.

How do you make a mistake like this? Every flight I've been on they announce the final destination many times. Wouldn't you know? Also, it seems the gate agents would discover this mistake. Or if the flight left aready, they would alert SMF of the situation. Is this a common mistake? I've never seen it before.

Thanks,
Jacks
 
Bridogger6
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 3:21 pm

People try to get on the wrong flights all the time... I'd say almost every flight there is at least one. It is caught by the computer though in a case where every seat is book and the same seat number is entered into the computer twice. Now, even though the passenger was the complete dope, it is the gate agent's responsibility to make sure they're not letting anyone on the flight who doesn't have a ticket for it. If the flight was not full, and without boarding pass scanners which read the ticket for the agent, it is possible that no one else was sitting in the same seat... but then the computer still should have shown that the seat just plain out was no occupied. So really, there is no good explanation for this misboard, the agents should have caught it either way, and them ignoring what the computer has told them is complete foolishness.

They probably DID know after the flight had departed, what they had done. They have to go back through and make sure all ticket counts are accurate for the passenger manifest. When they caught the mistake the probably kicked themselves really hard. There is fairly severe discipline taken out on a gate agent when they misboard a passenger. It is a pretty big deal, not just for the pissed of passenger, but for the potential security risks associated with it.

Even though the gate agents likely realized their mistake only a few minutes after the flight departed the gate, a plane will not be called back for this passenger unless it is deemed that he poses some type of security risk.
 
superhub
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 3:27 pm

Quoting Jacks757 (Thread starter):
Every flight I've been on they announce the final destination many times.

Actually, many FAs get the destination wrong. I have been on flights to SFO (OAK on B6) where on three occasions FAs have announced the flight was going to a different destination. One announced the flight was going to LAX (on UA), SMF (on B6) and even JFK (on AA). On three occasions, I panicked but other passengers didn't seem to notice any mistake.
 
oli80
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 4:30 pm

One of my dads friends boarded the wrong flight back in the late 80's early 90's.

He was due to fly from Amsterdam to Zurich (I think) with KLM but somehow ended up on a flight to Denmark or Sweden (or somewhere like that). He found out whilst climbing that he was on the wrong plane. Once he landed, he was told that the plane next to them (also a KLM) was headed back to Amsterdam and that he should try and get on it. He was escorted over and managed to board.

He ended up being very late for his meeting!  Wink
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 4:36 pm

Wouldn't they find out at the head count? Do airlines do that any more? It seems like they did frequently until a couple of years ago, but I can't remember a head count being done recently. Or they did it without me noticing. Well anyway, I always thought that doing the head count on a packed 747 would always yield a 1-2% margin of error.

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scbriml
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 4:45 pm

This really is something that ought to be pretty difficult to do these days. With increased security and id checks on boarding, the booking system really should alert ground crew that Mr. X is trying to get on the wrong flight.

I don't blame the pax - if you don't travel very often then flying can be difficult to understand and stressful. There's really no excuse for ground crew who let a pax on the wrong flight though.

Re counting pax on the plane, it certainly happens on the airlines I flown recently (BA, IB, CO).
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metalinyoni
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 5:04 pm

Recently a guy I know boarded the wrong flight and ended up in Lima, Peru instead of Johannesburg. He was flying via Madrid on Iberia. He had a tight connection and had to run to the gate. As it turned out both flights from Madrid to Lima And JHB were waiting for a late connecting passenger. The two gates were pretty close together and he got on the wrong one. the staff at the Lima gate assumed it was the right guy and hurried him onto the plane that wasn't full. He was going out for his sisters wedding - he finally made to to Harare on the day of the actual wedding.
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wjcandee
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 5:13 pm

Reducing this problem is one of the benefits of etickets and the technology associated with it. On DL, for example, boarding passes are scanned. When the scanners are working, they'll kick the pass back if it's for the wrong flight. (They also save the gate agents the pain of manually entering collected boarding passes into the system, and the scanned boarding pass provides more information to the computer than does just punching in the seat number by hand.)

On one of those funny books written by flight attendants, there's a very amusing anecdote about how the guy inadvertently let someone on the flight with a BP to a different destination. His antics in attempting to avoid the wrath of the person (and to avoid the person during the flight), who blamed him, of course, were pretty funny.
 
bayareapilot
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 5:30 pm

I was on a LAX-SJC flight once where a guy who was going to SJO boarded and sat down. Luckily he figured out something wasn't right when the pilot came on before the door had closed and said it would be a 45 minute flight to San Jose.
 
Jacks757
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 5:42 pm

Quoting Superhub (Reply 2):
Actually, many FAs get the destination wrong

You're right! I remember flying PHX-SNA and the FAs kept saying Long Beach as our destination. I was worried until they finally corrected themselves. I guess flying from city to city everyday can make it a bit more difficult to remember.
 
Dreamflight767
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 5:47 pm

Well not to pick on HP, but I remember on two different occasions they sent two different children to the wrong destination. Even though Customer Service was on hand to escort the children to the correct gates during their connection, the kids still were put onto the wrong flights. So not only did the Customer Service escort make an error, the Gate Agent, and FAs made a mistake. As a follow up to these errors, I read that HP does not allow UMs (Unaccompany Minors) anymore. (Anyone confirm that?)

On a similar note, my Uncle got on the wrong Air France flight. He was leaving France (can't remember what city) back home to SFO via a connection in CDG. He was older and required assistance. Air France staff put him on a flight to ZRH instead of CDG. Thankfully, right before push, AF staff caught the error and got him where he needed to be.
 
oly720man
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 6:14 pm

There was the classic a few years ago at Shannon where a woman wanted the Manx flight, but ended up being sent to the gate for the flight to Minsk where she ended up. Manx Minsk.... an easy mistake to make.... Eventually LH took pity and flew her back to MAN via FRA.
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airtrainer
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 6:19 pm

Quoting Superhub (Reply 2):
Actually, many FAs get the destination wrong. I have been on flights to SFO (OAK on B6) where on three occasions FAs have announced the flight was going to a different destination. One announced the flight was going to LAX (on UA), SMF (on B6) and even JFK (on AA). On three occasions, I panicked but other passengers didn't seem to notice any mistake.

Ok I'm off topic but this reminds me a story on a UA flight CDG-IAD, the F/A announced in french that we were going to Dulles, then she noticed that all the french people on board were thinking we were going to... Dallas ! Pretty funny  Wink
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satx
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 6:35 pm

Wow! I'm trying to think of how this could happen. It's never happened to me yet and I don't ever recall seeing anyone having to get off because they're on the wrong flight. Every time I fly my BP gets scanned and I often notice a quick headcount before pushback.
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BAtriple7
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 6:48 pm

Around 15 years ago I checked in for an ATH-LON (can't remember LGW or LHR) flight, at the gate they called the flight and the first bunch of people walked onto the bus which would take us to the stand. We got on the bus, it pulled up to a plane belonging to the same company (Monarch), we got off the bus, walked on to the plane, after a while the FAs on the plane came round telling us all to get off again because we were all on the wrong plane! It was going to BRS I believe, not London.  Smile

Well, I pity the bus driver because it must have been around 3am at the time...no fault of his.
 
jetflyer
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 6:49 pm

I suppose he also shouldn't go out alone with out mummy and daddy too. I've been through heathrow on my own and never managed to get on the wrong flight dude!!!!!! Had his medication run out?  

[Edited 2006-05-23 11:50:26]
 
AR385
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 7:18 pm

In 1994 I was flying out of BCN to MAD on UX. I got on the plane that was boarding and said MADRID on the screen board. Once seated, The flight attendant announces "Welcome to flight such and such to Las Palmas. I got that sinking feeling on the stomach, and I asked my seatmate where he was going. Las Palmas, he answered. I ran to the door just before they closed it and was able to get out of the plane.

How did this happpen. I arrived to the gate after the boarding announcement had been made. The screen board on top of the gate said MADRID. The gate agent took my BP ripped it and gave it back so I proceeded to board. The original flight ot MADRID had been delayed, so they pulled up the Las Palmas flight to the gate the MADRID plane was supposed to use. I still don't know why they didn't catch the mistake on my BP or on the head count.

Nowadays, if this happens as often as Briddoger6 says then it's a real security risk and should be addressed seriously. You can't have people boarding any flight htey want, all the time, as mentioned. What's the point of all the security measures if this is happening?
 
stirling
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 8:03 pm

Unless these are mistakes in during the booking/purchasing process....not understanding what a place is called, or mispronunciation like in the case of Minsk/Manx....I have a hard time understanding how these things can happen in this day and age?

But damn funny stories nonetheless!
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TheSunseeker
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 8:53 pm

Nice Service! You buy a ticket and get to choose where you go to  Wink
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Birdwatching
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 8:57 pm

You all talk about security risk. Why would it be? So you tell me a person who has passed the checkpoints, and has not raised a flag at check-in, and is cleared to fly to place A is a security risk on a plane that goes to place B?
I don't get it.

Soren  santahat 
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DesertAir
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 9:09 pm

I used to take the Central America Milk Run flight on COPA: Guatemala-El Salvador-Nicaragua-Costa Rica-Panama. In El Salvador there were two COPA planes in the terminal at the same time-both heading in opposit directions....often we had to head back to the gate because someone boarded the wrong plane.
 
bayareapilot
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 9:19 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 19):
You all talk about security risk. Why would it be? So you tell me a person who has passed the checkpoints, and has not raised a flag at check-in, and is cleared to fly to place A is a security risk on a plane that goes to place B?
I don't get it.

Took the words right out of my mouth. I hate how any anomaly with air travel these days is a "security" issue.

[Edited 2006-05-23 14:20:10]
 
planemannyc
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 10:14 pm

I have a funny story of a mis-board. My uncle studied in Ukraine back in the 70's. His friend who studied in Moscow was flying back home to Dhaka, Bangladesh for his vacation. When he checked in, he was put on a flight to Dakar, Senegal. He as a bit confused to see a lot of Middle Eastern and African passengers on the flight. When the Aeroflot flight made a stop in Algiers, he was a bit more confused. I guess his geography was pretty bad. He thought Algiers is some Gulf city like Dubai or Sharjah. Anyway, he went on to Dakar, and unfortunately had to fly back all the way to Moscow before heading to Dhaka.

But back then, I guess there were no computer scanners to check boarding passes. To the comrades of USSR, Dakar or Dhaka were just another capital city to spread their influence  Smile

Best,

Wasim / Planemannyc
 
klm672
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 10:15 pm

I use to work for Comair and we would have two flights going 30 minutes apart. The first to CVG the second to ATL. Since there was no time to change the screen at the gate we just had the ATL flight up. We'd always always get a few ATL passengers thinking it was their flight going instead of the CVG one.
 
blueflyer
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 10:23 pm

Quoting Jacks757 (Thread starter):
How do you make a mistake like this?

Talk to any "road warrior" and they will tell you how. You're tired/frustrated/rushed/angry/bored/aota and you quickly find out you don't pay as much attention as you should after 6 flights in 3 days on a tight schedule. I've personally sat for an hour in an empty boarding lounge before realizing the flight I was waiting on had been cancelled all along (the monitor said it, I just didn't notice), I've been stopped from boarding the wrong flight twice, I've panicked once when I heard the F/A announce the destination as Boston after the door had closed and I thought I was going to Washington (I was actually going to Boston, as I realized after a minute or so) and I have tried to check in for a Delta flight at an American Airlines automated check-in kiosk.

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 4):
Wouldn't they find out at the head count?

If a passenger is human enough to get on the wrong flight, a F/A is human enough to miscount... even more so if the flight is already running late.

Quoting BayAreaPilot (Reply 21):
I hate how any anomaly with air travel these days is a "security" issue.

Being short one passenger can be a security risk, especially if the pax has luggage in the hold. Having an extra pax on board is more of an issue with the chicken plate running out faster than expected, then again with some airlines cutting down on food service...

Quoting Superhub (Reply 2):
Actually, many FAs get the destination wrong.

Not to mention the F/As who purposedly announce the wrong destination in order to get passengers' attention during the security announcement. There are two cities I could find myself flying to by mistake and not raise an eyebrow when I hear the announcement.... Anchorage and Orlando.
 
AlexPorter
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 10:45 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 4):
I can't remember a head count being done recently

I've seen it on most if not all of my "express" flights (all on CRJs), but not on mainline flights.
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varigb707
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 10:47 pm

While i find it funny, that anyone would get into a wrong flight, i find it intriguing that the airline personnel couldn't catch this.
That show two things : 1/passengers ARE NOT paying attention. They are too busy talking on their cell phones or what have you.
2/airline personnel can't careless...
No offense.
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soups
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 10:48 pm

Called LH and booked a flight to Accra, three days later i received my ticket to Ankara!
Next destinations, Suarabaya, beirut, paris, Accra
 
efcar98
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 10:49 pm

Quoting Superhub (Reply 2):
Actually, many FAs get the destination wrong. I have been on flights to SFO (OAK on B6) where on three occasions FAs have announced the flight was going to a different destination. One announced the flight was going to LAX (on UA), SMF (on B6) and even JFK (on AA). On three occasions, I panicked but other passengers didn't seem to notice any mistake.

I flew on American about a year ago and upon landing, the F/A announced over the speaker "Thank you for flying with us at United"
 
chase
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 11:01 pm

Two summers ago I was boarding a TZ flight from MDW, I believe to DFW. We were boarding through one of the two gates with the interminably long hallway - A4A or A4B.
The woman in front of me was stopped by an agent as she was entering the jetbridge, because she was actually ticketed on a different flight, to a completely different destination, that left from that gate, but 4 hours later.
 
ContnlEliteCMH
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 11:22 pm

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 5):
This really is something that ought to be pretty difficult to do these days. With increased security and id checks on boarding, the booking system really should alert ground crew that Mr. X is trying to get on the wrong flight.

And yet it happens. I got on a flight in CLE bound for ATL, and there was somebody sitting in my seat. I asked him if he had 5A, and he showed me his pass. Since the ERJ-145 isn't exactly wide, I went to the back of the plane to await an empty seat. I *should* have checked his pass for the flight number. While awaiting and empty seat, the FA called my name over the PA and asked me to come forward. Sure enough, dopey had gotten on the wrong flight and then was kinda snobby about my request to see his boarding pass. Go figure.

All the gates in CLE are computerized. But here's how this happens: Somebody hands the gate agent a reprinted boarding pass. They check you in by looking at the check in number on the corner of the pass and manually entering it into the computer. Since the computer has no way of knowing which flight that number comes from, it gives the green light. When my boarding pass is scanned, the software won't catch the error because it can't. For this flight, the check in number used by our errant friend isn't for seat 5A. If it can detect the error, it won't catch it until the passenger whose number that guy took, tries to board. I don't know how they caught the error. Maybe the guy heard we were going somewhere he wasn't.
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n234nw
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 11:31 pm

Something like this happened to me.

In 2003 I was on an AA flight that was *Supposed* to be PHX - STL - MSY (The same flight number the entire way). My memory is a bit hazy, but I'm sure about the STL - MSY leg.

When we landed in STL, I asked the flight attendants if I should just stay onboard since "I was on the next flight", and they said yes.

I then asked if the flight was headed to MSY, and one of them replied "Oh, I think so", another responded with "I didn't know this was a through flight".

The flight was boarded and they announced it was headed to Kansas City (IIRC). I paniced and made it off the plane just before the door was shut. I think AA must have known I was on the the flight, because when I got off I was met by a customer service agent who asked me if I was headed to MSY, and ran me across the terminal. I was the last person to board  Smile.

I never did find out if AA changed the gate, or if I was just wrong about what I was supposed to do.

Since then, I've learned that the flight attendents may not be the best souce of information about where the plane is going  Smile.
 
Bridogger6
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Tue May 23, 2006 11:37 pm

Quoting Dreamflight767 (Reply 10):
Well not to pick on HP, but I remember on two different occasions they sent two different children to the wrong destination. Even though Customer Service was on hand to escort the children to the correct gates during their connection, the kids still were put onto the wrong flights. So not only did the Customer Service escort make an error, the Gate Agent, and FAs made a mistake. As a follow up to these errors, I read that HP does not allow UMs (Unaccompany Minors) anymore. (Anyone confirm that?)

HP still does allow UM's onboard, but they cannot have connections, HP only accepts UM's on non-stop flights. Also, the child is required to be booked as UM up until the age of 15.

Also, head counts are still done on all flights, but a lot of times gate agents will just nod and smile if the flight attendant's count differs by one or two from their own count, because they are often off by a couple of people in a lot of cases. Speaking of which I have a funny ditz story about a flight attendant who counted the empty seats on an A319 with a capacity of 124. She came back, finding 30 empty seats and tried to insist to me that the count was 96.. because 124 - 30 = 96. I told her it was 94, but she insisted on proving me wrong even writing is all down on paper and somehow still coming up with 96. I let it go but then told one of the other flight attendants because I couldn't stand her living with her stupidity. The other FA corrected her real fast, it was kind of funny.
 
HKA
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 12:05 am

I have witnessed the opposite, i.e. someone landing on a wrong airport which I think could happen more often.

Once, a friend landed and went out in Montreal airport from a flight from LHR. He was supposed to land in Toronto. The flight had stopped in Montreal before heading to Toronto.
 
lincoln
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 12:05 am

Quoting Jacks757 (Thread starter):
How do you make a mistake like this? Every flight I've been on they announce the final destination many times. Wouldn't you know?

Yeah...as much as I hate to admit it, I rarely pay attention to those... I'm trying to cram in a few more minutes of work in my laptop, or finish up a call on my cell phone, or (rarely) listening to my iPod through one ear while breathing.

When you're flying to 8 different destinations in a 3 week span, they kind of blur together.

I've often (mostly recently) found myself calling colleagues with "Hi, I'm on the ground at...um, well, wherever my flight was suposed to land..." while making my way out of the terminal.
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litz
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 12:42 am

AA used to (and may still) have Eagle flights out of St Louis to Springfield.

Missouri.

AND Illinois.

From the same gate.

Parked next to each other.

Departing 5 minutes apart.

You can just imagine the confusion that causes - the FA on my Springfield (IL) flight told me they return at least 1 person a day to STL ...

 Smile

I also once had an OH SH*T moment on Comair ... was booked to Cincinatti, and hadn't really bothered to look at the arrival time, just the departure time out of ATL. I should have realized something was up with a flight time of almost 3 hours. Turns out I was booked through MSY (same flight) - and yes, I panicked when they announced the flight as going to New Orleans,

So, naturally, I double checked the boarding pass ... Right time ... Right flight # ... right Gate # ... "WTF????" ... so I put my hand up and asked the FA if I was on the right plane - she goes "Yup! You get a free trip to New Orleans, though, on the way ..."

I never did win my argument with the Skymiles folks that I should have gotten mileage for ATL-MSY-CVG, though ... as the ticket was booked ATL-CVG.

- litz
 
BHXFAOTIPYYC
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 1:02 am

I got on the wrong KLM flight in AMS. I was late for my flight to Faro, but I had already checked the screens so I knew which gate it was, so I ran when I heard my name being called. Handed my boarding card to the woman at the gate, and got on board. Sat down (had 5C assigned, but there wasn't one so sat in unoccuppied 5D), and they were handing out newspapers - English, Dutch and Arabic. I assumed there must be an Arab delegation on the flight. Next came the menu cards - Amsterdam-Cairo-Kartoum. Silly people I thought, they've loaded the wrong menus. We were still on stand and fortunately I decided to ask the FA where we were going. "Cairo" she said. With that I jumped up and headed for the door, explaining on the way that I was going to Faro instead. The air bridge came back and I headed back to the terminal where I watched the Faro flight moving down the taxiway. At the ticketing desk they basically said that what I had done was impossible with security etc etc, and were really not happy about re-valing my ticket for a later flight.

At the time, KLM check-in staff were using thick marker pens to circle the pax destination, and when they did mine, the line went through the F, so only "aro" was showing. Obviously there was 1 pax short for the CAI flight, so it was just a coincidence that I showed up instead. What I didn't know at the time was that airlines change gates. IB did it to me no less than 3 times recently on a short domestic MAD SVQ flight, so just because the screen said one thing an hour ago, doesn't mean it hasn't changed.
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mdaigle
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 1:10 am

Just happened this weekend at YYZ:

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2006/05/23/1593359-sun.html

Michel
 
YULWinterSkies
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 1:16 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 19):
You all talk about security risk. Why would it be? So you tell me a person who has passed the checkpoints, and has not raised a flag at check-in, and is cleared to fly to place A is a security risk on a plane that goes to place B?
I don't get it.

Birdwatching, you are 100% right in my opinion but as Blueflyer was saying, it is a way for an individual to leave luggage without his presence on the plane... And yes the luggage are screened, but who ever really knows what is inside.... However, by seeing the current way terrorist attacks are being done (ie : suicide bombing), I think such a way of thinking is somewhat outdated (unfortunately).
This is also why they deboard the luggage of the pax who miss flights (in this case, it is cool as you normally get your luggage with you on the next flight!)
When I doubt... go running!
 
elcableguy77
Posts: 466
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:25 pm

RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 1:29 am

Quoting Litz (Reply 35):
AA used to (and may still) have Eagle flights out of St Louis to Springfield.

Missouri.

AND Illinois.

From the same gate.

Parked next to each other.

Departing 5 minutes apart.

That got me to laughing.
There's some good planning right there.  laughing 
Former ZW F/A | "Wisconsin 72A, contact departure, see ya."
 
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carmenlu15
Posts: 4518
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 1:24 am

RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 1:51 am

Quoting Airtrainer (Reply 12):
Ok I'm off topic but this reminds me a story on a UA flight CDG-IAD, the F/A announced in french that we were going to Dulles, then she noticed that all the french people on board were thinking we were going to... Dallas ! Pretty funny

You won't believe how many people confuse Dulles with Dallas... When I worked in TA reservations, I had countless calls from passengers asking for a ticket to Dallas, who upon hearing "the plane arrives at Dallas, TX at--" would yell "Texas? But I want to fly to Washington!"    (TA flies to both DFW and IAD)

Most of us agents were well aware of the confusion, and confirmed the correct destination before doing anything else. However, I remember one case when the passengers noticed they had booked a flight to DFW only after they had arrived to SAL and wanted to board the connecting flight to IAD. Or worse yet, another passenger that found out his reservation was messed up when he landed and noticed this was not the IAD he knew... that's right, he had landed in DFW!

Edit: Speaking of which, I found an old thread about these airport confusions: Confusing Airport Names... (by Carmenlu15 Nov 8 2005 in Civil Aviation)

[Edited 2006-05-23 19:15:57]
Don't expect to see me around that much (if at all) -- the contact link should still work, though.
 
ANNOYEDFA
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 2:02 am

Sorry but unless you don't speak english that is the only reason this mistake should ever be made. When a gate agent announces the flight with the number and the gate sign says where ever your going it might be good to actually put your celly down and pay attention or maybe listen to the 10 announcements made between the pilots and flight attendants verifying the flight. A mistake over the P.A. might be made once but corrected. It comes down to ignorance on the passengers part.
"TWA... One Mission, Yours."
 
PDXflyer31
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 2:02 am

RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 2:17 am

I think most of these problems occur either with 1) new employees who are bound to make mistakes, or 2) people who just don't pay attention for one reason or another. But again if people paid attention then thy would just correct any mistake that a new employee might make. So it mostly comes down to #2.

I can't fathom how someone can end up in the wrong city. Even when I've seen airlines switch gates for flights before boarding, they make repeated announcements of that change. If you walk up to the previous, and now incorrect gate, they'll direct you to the right one.

My grandparents, who were in their 60's flew here from Russia in 1995 on AF without speaking a lick of English. They hadn't flown in decades and had never flown outside of the old Aeroflot. And yet they were able to fly SVO-CDG-SFO, making the connection at CDG without speaking a lick of French either.
 
YZFOO7F
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 2:58 am

I've always wondered if there was ever a time that a crew boarded and prepared the wrong aircraft only to realize that they were in the wrong place..or better yet if they actually flew it to the destination they thought that particular a/c was supposed to go. I guess if the whole crew was having a bit of an off day it wouldn't be too hard to mistake which gate they were supposed to be at, and at hubs it would be easy to get the same a/c type side by side at gates.
Promise me you'll always leave the ground
 
reyes27
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:28 pm

RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 3:02 am

It can happen to the best of us, on a PHX-LAX trip I was waiting at the wrong gate for about 25 minutes, but to my defense that plane was going to LAX as well, just the wrong flight number...
 
DLAgent
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 3:26 am

Prior to the scanned boarding cards, in years past, we would have this happen quite frequently. I have had it only happen once or twice in the past year on an inbound flight.
One time (a few years back) I do remember we had a flight cancellation, and re-booked about 30 people on a group ticket to ATL- one elderly lady was going to LAS from SLC and somehow ended up on the flight to ATL, and we discovered it about 20 minutes after the plane had left. Had to contact her family in LAS, & let them know she was traveling from PSC to LAS via ATL, with an intermediate stop in SLC. It's rare that this happens anymore though.
 
PavlovsDog
Posts: 561
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 3:27 am

I know it is a common occurence for passengers to Kristiansand, Norway to end up in Kristiansund.

In 1999 at CDG Air France had an assinine system (which I hope they've replaced) whereby they had several gates sharing one boarding card scanner.

The people working there were neither motivated nor knowledgeable and so they kept sending people to the Casablanca plane who should have been going to Oslo and vice-versa. We were threatened by the staff when we started going toward the jet-way to the Oslo flight and coerced to go towards Casablanca instead. We won out and made our way to Oslo along with three Moroccans who didn't intend to. I don't know how many went to Morocco that day who didn't want to.
 
EWRCabincrew
Posts: 4323
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 2:37 am

RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 3:37 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 19):
You all talk about security risk. Why would it be? So you tell me a person who has passed the checkpoints, and has not raised a flag at check-in, and is cleared to fly to place A is a security risk on a plane that goes to place B?
I don't get it.

Took the words right out of my mouth. I hate how any anomaly with air travel these days is a "security" issue

Well said.

Or about the mix up with the OAK/AKL flight years ago.

It happens, albeit rarely.

Whether it was the agent not paying attention to the boarding pass, the flight attendant at the boarding door, or even still, the customer not paying attention to signs, public announcements or being proactive and asking questions concerning their flight. The customer may even not speak the language where they are and get confused.

It happens.

[Edited 2006-05-23 20:39:20]
You can't cure stupid
 
tommy767
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 3:45 am

At LAX several times at T4, American sometimes never even displays the destination at the proper gate. This happened to me on my San Francisco flight.

Tommy in EWR/LAX.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
AEROFAN
Posts: 1870
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RE: Oops...I Got On The Wrong Flight

Wed May 24, 2006 3:49 am

Ah this can happen easier than u think. happened to me once. i was on my way to seattle, making a connection in sfo.
flight = jfk x sfo to seattle
airline - ua

well i got on to the wrong plane in jfk and ended up in lax instead of sfo. it was a headache getting out of lax, i can tell u
“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” ~Harlan Ellison~

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