richierich
Posts: 3599
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:56 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 34):
What he gained from it is irrelevant.

I could hold up a bank with an AK47 - whether I steal $5 million or $5, it shouldn't change my punishment.

Not true. I understand your point, and believe me I am all about good security, but that doesn't mean that we have to clear out an airport every time somebody comes through with a crumpled boarding pass (obviously I'm being facetious). In this case, as a CSA or even a supervisor, you have to make a decision as to whether to haul this guy off the plane and make a big scene or just let it go. What's the risk to the latter? The power of discretion is very complicated.

Quoting FlightShadow (Reply 48):
It sounds like she took his pass and he walked down the jetway, then she took a second look at it and called the sup, who called security. She didn't do anything wrong - surely you don't expect her to detain him for what is usually just a bad printer? She called the sup, who called security - she did her job, and the sup did their job.

End of story.

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 36):
Airline managers at many airlines monitor this forum and do not take kindly to us posting things that happen at work here. I know from personal experience....3 times i have received emails from managers at work asking me to "come in and talk about my position" on things. I saw that as my ticket out the door. Just be careful.

Ain't that right. A lot of people from all levels of this industry, including members of the press and airline executives, routinely read this site and people can [and have] gotten into trouble for what they blog, even if it was the truth. If the threadstarter's name really is Rachel and she really does work for WN in BDL, she wouldn't be too hard to track down. (For the record, I don't think anything she has written is even worthy of a 'talking to', never mind formal discipline...)
None shall pass!!!!
 
N353SK
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:02 am

There is a simple solution - just a software change - to alleviate 99% of potential fraudulent BPs. The background of the BP simply needs to be a randomly generated, complex pattern (think similar to the background of a check or some states' drivers licenses) so that doctoring the BP becomes too time-consuming and difficult for most potential deviants.

Sure, this won't stop the die-hard criminals, but it's a simple, cheap step in the right direction.
 
YWG
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:59 am

I still have a few passes saved from AC and WJ from flights I took, just for records rather then criminal purposes. I've noticed it would be incredibly easy to doctor it with a current date and flight number no problem. Thing is, you'd get as far as the boarding of the plane, where you no doubt would be caught because of our good friend...the bar code.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 39):
Is it a 2D barcode like this
Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.
 
smashme33
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:34 pm

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:05 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 46):
Yeah, throwing somebody off a flight for faking a boarding pass is turning the US into a police state.
Let's grow up a little here.

Ok...you should pay attention to what you are reading.
-All the guy did was make a change to his seat assignment from his existing reservation. Was it a good idea? No. Any possibility of harm to anyone? No.
-I said that the iron fist way of thinking in general is turning the US into a police state.
-Nothing I mentioned indicates a need for me to "grow up", but by you saying that, you are demonstrating that you either want to hear it your way and have the other person just shut up, which is an adolescent complex that truly does need to be grown out of. That's also in the iron fist realm.
 
bond007
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:27 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 50):
Not true. I understand your point, and believe me I am all about good security, but that doesn't mean that we have to clear out an airport every time somebody comes through with a crumpled boarding pass (obviously I'm being facetious). In this case, as a CSA or even a supervisor, you have to make a decision as to whether to haul this guy off the plane and make a big scene or just let it go. What's the risk to the latter?

Yes, you are being facetious. This was clearly a case where there WAS a forgery problem and not a "crumpled boarding pass".

I ask my question again!

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 44):
Do ya really think he's gonna try it again next time he flies WN, if he got thrown off this time ????

Most probably not IMO. Will he try it again now?? Possibly IMO.

Quoting Smashme33 (Reply 53):
but by you saying that, you are demonstrating that you either want to hear it your way and have the other person just shut up, which is an adolescent complex that truly does need to be grown out of. That's also in the iron fist realm.

Yeah, OK  Yeah sure

Quoting N353SK (Reply 51):
There is a simple solution - just a software change - to alleviate 99% of potential fraudulent BPs. The background of the BP simply needs to be a randomly generated, complex pattern (think similar to the background of a check or some states' drivers licenses) so that doctoring the BP becomes too time-consuming and difficult for most potential deviants.

We're talking about online check-in here. If it's printed on my Epson, I can change it.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
Baron52ta
Posts: 182
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 am

Quoting RachelBDL (Reply 5):
The only place ID is checked now is at security checkpoint,

That is rich , all the security restrictions we have to deal with in the uk are because of the us and our id is checked several times before getting to the plane and you guys only check ids once.
 
gffgold
Posts: 184
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:58 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 54):
We're talking about online check-in here. If it's printed on my Epson, I can change it.

Absolutely true. Same goes for e-ticket receipts and itineraries. Nobody is (I hope!) ever going to actually get on a plane with a fake e-tix but I have heard of criminal 'resellers' duping desperate travellers out of their cash with them.

It is also an established trick to get past immigration with a one-way ticket by producing a bogus e-tix receipt for an onward flight. Someone from Air France told me that their e-tix are supplied in a password-secured .pdf file to prevent this. I told him about a .pdf password cracker and editor that is available in local bootleg software shops for $2.50!
 
zvezda
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:53 pm

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 34):
I could hold up a bank with an AK47 - whether I steal $5 million or $5, it shouldn't change my punishment.

Robbing a bank with an AK-47 is a violent crime. I'm flabbergasted that you equate violent and non-violent crimes. Most people learn the difference before puberty. Then you tell you tell others to grow up.  Yeah sure

Nothing I've read here shakes my belief that the most appropriate punishment would have been to reboard him last with a stern talking to. That would have sufficed to ensure that he not try it again.
 
Max777geek
Posts: 159
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:08 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
He had just doctored his Boarding Pass to show Group A instead of the actual Group B so they could board earlier and get a better seat

Was he really this stupid ? That would have been deserving an arrest just for being so stupid.
 
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CaptSkibi
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:19 pm

I just scanned the barcode on one of my old boarding passes and was surprised how little information was encoded in the barcode. Anyone with barcode tools on their computer could easily change the barcode on a boarding pass as well with a little ingenuity.
Private Pilot, Airplane Single Engine Land / former frequent flyer with 9 straight years being elite on NW/DL
 
zvezda
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:34 pm

Quoting CaptSkibi (Reply 59):
I just scanned the barcode on one of my old boarding passes and was surprised how little information was encoded in the barcode. Anyone with barcode tools on their computer could easily change the barcode on a boarding pass as well with a little ingenuity.

Good public key encryption would render that trick useless.
 
sparkingwave
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:40 pm

If this guy was so easily able to doctor his boarding pass, then some of the fault lies with Southwest Airlines for permitting this. It's up to WN to establish more secure anti-doctoring standards to discourage forged boarding passes.

This guy deserves a talking to, but then, so does WN.

It's like if you lock your door to prevent theft, but you use a very cheap lock that can be broken. Or worse, you leave the door unlocked. Then is it just the robber's fault? You take measures to discourage theft!

SparkingWave ~~~
Flights to the moon and all major space stations. At Pan Am, the sky is no longer the limit!
 
FlightShadow
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:53 pm

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 49):

Let's remember that nobody is "getting past TSA" by forging boarding passes.

If getting through the security checkpoint with a forged boarding pass is not "Getting past TSA," what is it?
"When the tide goes out, you can tell who was skinnydipping."
 
bond007
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:02 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 57):
Robbing a bank with an AK-47 is a violent crime. I'm flabbergasted that you equate violent and non-violent crimes. Most people learn the difference before puberty.

I'm not equating them at all!

I was commenting on the fact that some said he should get away with it, JUST because he got little benefit from it. The benefit the person gets from committing the crime should have no effect on the punishment .... as in my example of whether you stole $5 or $5 million in an armed robbery. You obviously didn't understand (or read) my post.

Quoting FlightShadow (Reply 62):
If getting through the security checkpoint with a forged boarding pass is not "Getting past TSA," what is it?

He went through TSA like any other passenger!

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
AAFan
Posts: 48
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:51 am

Quoting Baron52ta (Reply 55):
That is rich , all the security restrictions we have to deal with in the uk are because of the us and our id is checked several times before getting to the plane and you guys only check ids once.

What is that supposed to mean?

So by your logic we in the US should be upset that we now have to pack our shampoo and deodorant in clear plastic bags and present them to the TSA?
 
richierich
Posts: 3599
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:01 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 63):
The benefit the person gets from committing the crime should have no effect on the punishment .... as in my example of whether you stole $5 or $5 million in an armed robbery. You obviously didn't understand (or read) my post.

That is absolutely not true, Mr. Bond. The amount of benefit a person gets absolutely figures in to the punishment. If Ken Lay (now deceased) of Enron fame had only stolen $100,000 from the stockholders, and not the tens of millions, don't you think that this would have figured into his punishment? Of course it would have. The example you give of an armed robbery isn't exactly a fair comparison because it is the act of walking into a bank with a gun (with the intention of using it) that is the bigger part of that crime, not how much money they could potentially have escaped with.

Back on topic and the BDL situation. I think you have to look at each case individually. Most importantly, it does not sound like this guy committed a crime and certainly was no security risk. Quick recap: he passed through security, he had a boarding pass, he had a flight reservation, he even boarded the correct flight. The only thing he is guilty of is breaking the boarding process (WN's own cattle-call procedure) and it certainly is not worth hauling him of a flight or creating a big stink over. At most - and I would agree with this - he should have been "talked to", therefore sending him the message that he was 'caught' and breaking the rules, blah blah blah. He may or may not try this again, who knows... seems like a lot of trouble to go to just to get a window seat on Southwest....!

Bottom line is: no laws were broken, only a minor WN rule was breached, and our friend Rachel handled this very appropriately by the sound of it. Was this passenger an ass? Sure. He successfully got away with bending the rules for his own personal benefit. Did he deserve to be pulled off of the flight for what he did, just to make a point? I don't think so. Maybe it would've made you feel better to know that a non-conformist was put in his place but the reality is that in doing that, Rachel would have created a lot of unnecessary work for herself and her co-workers over a trivial event.
None shall pass!!!!
 
bond007
Posts: 4428
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:40 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 65):
The example you give of an armed robbery isn't exactly a fair comparison because it is the act of walking into a bank with a gun (with the intention of using it) that is the bigger part of that crime, not how much money they could potentially have escaped with.

Ah, at last, EXACTLY my point. Many people here seem to be saying he just 'jumped to the front of the line' ... no he didn't! He forged a boarding pass.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 65):
The only thing he is guilty of is breaking the boarding process

Again, NO, he forged a boarding pass.

There are numerous laws he could have been prosecuted under .... one being 18 USC 1036 (but 3 or others) ...

"(a) Whoever, by any fraud or false pretense, enters or attempts to enter - ...... (2) any vessel or aircraft belonging in whole or in part to, or leased by, the United States; or (3) any secure area of any airport."

BTW ... max 5 years for that.

The fact he really did have a valid boarding pass that was slightly altered is irrelevant. He did, "by any fraud" attempt to enter "any...aircraft" ... blaa blaa

..and actually he did also enter a secure area with a fraudulent document also.

Like I said ... many more laws under 18 USC if you really want to look!


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
richierich
Posts: 3599
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:10 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 66):
Again, NO, he forged a boarding pass.

There are numerous laws he could have been prosecuted under .... one being 18 USC 1036 (but 3 or others) ...

"(a) Whoever, by any fraud or false pretense, enters or attempts to enter - ...... (2) any vessel or aircraft belonging in whole or in part to, or leased by, the United States; or (3) any secure area of any airport."

I disagree. He did not enter either the secure area or the vessel under "false pretenses" other than being out of order. I'm quite sure the US government doesn't give a hoot about the order in which Southwest board their aircraft. Coming back to what I said earlier, it comes down to "discretion" and interpretation. Weighing the "crime" (as such) versus the potential drama of removing this individual, it is clear to me that the right call was made.

I appreciate you including the section of the law that pertains to this incident, but please understand that laws like this are designed to catch persons who are either (a) security risks or (b) trying to get on a plane without a reservation, not some bozo switching his boarding time. The fraud and false pretense do not apply to this individual because he was not defrauding the airline about having a ticket or reservation. The way this law is worded makes me think there is a lot of wiggle room here, so unless there is a specific clause that mentions "seating assignments" or "boarding priorities", then I am quite confident he is in the clear as far as the law is concerned.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 66):
The fact he really did have a valid boarding pass that was slightly altered is irrelevant.

Again, I have to disagree. How often do people show up at the TSA line with missing, torn, faded or crumpled boarding passes? Or people that write on their passes? The answer is: all the time. Heck, I've shown up with a boarding pass that was accidentally mutilated in my pocket. As long as they can read the name, the date and airline, the TSA is not in the business of determining what is a valid boarding pass and what is not, especially in this time where home-printing BPs is encouraged. The TSA's job is to prevent people from entering the secure area that have no reason to be there - but more importantly it is to check everybody going through to ensure they pose no threats and are not carrying any weapons. It is the job of the airline to determine whether the individual has a reservation for a specific flight or not. I'm assuming that this individual went through security, had a reservation and boarded the correct flight.

Please don't misunderstand me. What this guy did was stupid and annoying, at best, and I wouldn't recommend anybody trying it now or in the future. However, per the description of the event by thread starter, I take issue with the "throw him in jail" or "throw him off the plane" mentality. Both of these are serious and possibly draconian outcomes, in my opinion, and just because somebody took it upon himself to try and get a different boarding group doesn't necessarily warrant such drastic actions. I wasn't there, but I would like to think that I might have spent a few minutes and talk to this guy on the plane and let him know that his actions were not acceptable and will not be tolerated in the future, etc. Maybe throw in a quick threat that he'll be taken off the plane next time and make a note in his reservation. That alone might be enough to deter him. But jail? Unlikely. Thrown off the plane? Well within WN's right but this clearly wasn't necessary in this case. Rachel contacted her supervisor and security, so I think she is covered either way.
None shall pass!!!!
 
bond007
Posts: 4428
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:22 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 67):
Again, I have to disagree. How often do people show up at the TSA line with missing, torn, faded or crumpled boarding passes? Or people that write on their passes? The answer is: all the time. Heck, I've shown up with a boarding pass that was accidentally mutilated in my pocket.

Yeah, I wasn't arguing any of that. I agree.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 67):
He did not enter either the secure area or the vessel under "false pretenses" other than being out of order. I'm quite sure the US government doesn't give a hoot about the order in which Southwest board their aircraft. Coming back to what I said earlier, it comes down to "discretion" and interpretation.

LOL...of course he did. He wasn't just 'being out of order', he clearly entered the aircraft with a forged and fraudulent boarding pass. Like I said, whether he had a true ticket and had paid to be on that flight is irrelevant. The law doesn't say it's OK if he just changed the boarding group, or it's OK if he did really buy the ticket.

I know this isn't what the law was designed stop, but let's not kid ourselves he didn't "by any fraud" enter an aircraft. There is little room for interpretation there.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 67):
The fraud and false pretense do not apply to this individual because he was not defrauding the airline about having a ticket or reservation.

hmmm....did I miss where this clause is in the law I quoted??? Please advise.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:47 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 66):
There are numerous laws he could have been prosecuted under .... one being 18 USC 1036 (but 3 or others) ...

"(a) Whoever, by any fraud or false pretense, enters or attempts to enter - ...... (2) any vessel or aircraft belonging in whole or in part to, or leased by, the United States; or (3) any secure area of any airport."

BTW ... max 5 years for that.

You are seriously confused about how laws get written. The objective is not to ensure that everyone is punished who violates the letter of the law. The idea is to ensure that when someone does something that is actually bad (which this fellow didn't do) that a prosecutor will be able to find a corresponding statute. The reality is that, in the US, there are so many laws and they are written so broadly that nearly every adult commits a crime nearly every day without doing anything wrong. By your logic, most of the population should be locked up.
 
bond007
Posts: 4428
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:22 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 69):
You are seriously confused about how laws get written.

Not at all - but thanks for your insight!

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
richierich
Posts: 3599
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:12 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 68):
hmmm....did I miss where this clause is in the law I quoted??? Please advise.

Seeing as the law cannot be written for every possible scenario, there is always going to be some interpretation. In this case, you showed me that the law says:

"(a) Whoever, by any fraud or false pretense, enters or attempts to enter - ...... (2) any vessel or aircraft belonging in whole or in part to, or leased by, the United States; or (3) any secure area of any airport."

I think a very logical interpretation of this law is that you cannot enter a secure area or aircraft if you have no business doing so. In this case, the passenger did have business being on that airplane... HE WAS BOOKED ON THE FLIGHT! Assuming he was actually who he said he was (we have to make some assumptions here, or we could arguing all day), he did not enter the secure area under false pretenses. He entered with a boarding pass with his name on it, for a flight he was booked on. The fact that he changed an insignificant piece of information regarding his boarding process is important only to WN; they handled in a manner that they felt was appropriate.

Before you start blasting about having this guy pulled from the plane or arrested, please tell me exactly what risk he posed. I don't believe the act of manipulating a boarding pass is a crime unless it is done so to enter the secure area or aircraft "by fraud or false pretense", and I'd like to see any lawyer argue that this applies to entering the aircraft "out of turn"! If a boarding pass is actually some sacred document that cannot be manipulated in any way, then please explain to me why people are allowed through security every day with passes that look like they were eaten. Or used for target practice or an art project. The answer is because the TSA only wants verification that you have business being airside. They could care less about specific boarding procedures for one airline or another.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 69):
The objective is not to ensure that everyone is punished who violates the letter of the law. The idea is to ensure that when someone does something that is actually bad (which this fellow didn't do) that a prosecutor will be able to find a corresponding statute. The reality is that, in the US, there are so many laws and they are written so broadly that nearly every adult commits a crime nearly every day without doing anything wrong. By your logic, most of the population should be locked up.

I wouldn't have said it quite like this but I sort of agree with your sentiments. There is no need to make a mountain out of a molehill. I think Bond's interpretation of the letter of the law is a little unreasonable - I must not be alone, because apparently Southwest didn't seem too bothered by this guy either.
None shall pass!!!!
 
FLY2LIM
Posts: 1095
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 6:01 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:23 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 47):
You are equating skipping to the front of the queue with deciding what kind of medicine to put in one's own body with stealing. Unbelievable. Yeah sure Next you'll be saying that parking violations are crimes against humanity. If you were in charge, everyone on the planet would be locked up.



Quoting Zvezda (Reply 57):
Robbing a bank with an AK-47 is a violent crime. I'm flabbergasted that you equate violent and non-violent crimes. Most people learn the difference before puberty. Then you tell you tell others to grow up. Yeah sure

Nothing I've read here shakes my belief that the most appropriate punishment would have been to reboard him last with a stern talking to. That would have sufficed to ensure that he not try it again.



Quoting Zvezda (Reply 69):

You are seriously confused about how laws get written.

Some of you are so quick to dismiss what he did as no big deal. Zvezda, you obviously don't understand how the law works yourself. In practical terms, this person did not kill, injure, or rob anyone of anything that is quantifiable. We can all agree on that. He is, however, a security risk. The best example I can think of is when someone jokingly says "I have a bomb in my luggage" and gets arrested, even though this person did not have anything resembling a bomb in his luggage. Again, it's the intent and it's the act of forging a document, no matter how irrelevant. I am not an expert on the law so I cannot cite specific examples. I just know enough to know that, in this day and age of tight airline security, a sane person DOES NOT DO SUCH A THING.

That said, I did clarify to Rachel that she did follow procedure since Corporate Security cleared the incident.

FLY2LIM
Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
 
bond007
Posts: 4428
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:42 am

Quoting FLY2LIM (Reply 72):
Again, it's the intent and it's the act of forging a document, no matter how irrelevant.

Yes, again, and again, but some still don't seem to undertand this!

Quoting Richierich (Reply 71):
I think a very logical interpretation of this law is that you cannot enter a secure area or aircraft if you have no business doing so.

No, it is NOT what it says.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 71):
and I'd like to see any lawyer argue that this applies to entering the aircraft "out of turn"!

It doesn't, as I've said before. It's the fact that he changed his boarding pass = fraud. No question any lawyer would have any problem.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 71):
then please explain to me why people are allowed through security every day with passes that look like they were eaten.

OK, I will, they weren't changed, they weren't fraudulent, and they weren't entering under false pretenses. It's pretty clear!

Quoting Richierich (Reply 71):
They could care less about specific boarding procedures for one airline or another.

Correct! Never said they were. But you bet they COULD care less about people changing boarding passes (for whatever reason).

Quoting Richierich (Reply 71):
I think Bond's interpretation of the letter of the law is a little unreasonable

I'm not interpreting it .... you are! I am actually taking it word for word ... again, it's quite clear. Please look at your interpretations and then my 'He did, "by any fraud" attempt to enter "any...aircraft" '. It's plain english.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 71):
I must not be alone, because apparently Southwest didn't seem too bothered by this guy either.

This has nothing to do with the law. Sure, they have a right to do what they want with the pax (to a certain extent), but I've already made it clear I think they were wrong.


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2725
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RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:56 am

for those that are claiming fraud... he very much did NOT commit fraud since he received no goods or services of value by his actions. Now if WN charged $5 for the privilege of group "A" then yah, he might get a ticket if he really pisses the cops off at some point, but even then I doubt it.

Now the Forgery aspect is more complex, and what might get him into actual trouble. However w/o another meaningful crime being committed by said forgery, I doubt anyone would even bother to read to the end of the incident report before round filing the case.


Now it would be much different if he tried to scam a 1st class seat off a real boarding pass he bought for back of the bus Y class rates (yes, I know this case is relating to WN which has no first class). It would also be different if he changed data such as name/age/etc as this has some basis for security, at least in the theroycraft about our security. Personally someones name and age are the LAST thing you should use as a security measure since false ID issued by various state and government agencies is common as dirt. If you know the right people for under a couple hundred $$ you can get a nice drivers license issued by most any state in the US, that is real and legal. All it takes is the right fake birth certificate and you are in with getting real legal documents. So if I really wanted to be Jesus Christensen or the like...
 
zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:15 am

Quoting FLY2LIM (Reply 72):
Zvezda, you obviously don't understand how the law works yourself.

Tell that to the legislators who've enacted laws that I've drafted.

Quoting FLY2LIM (Reply 72):
He is, however, a security risk.

 Yeah sure An evidently unarmed man, who exhibits no inclination to violence or any other criminal intent, buys an airline ticket, goes to the correct airport on the correct day, is screened by the Thousands Standing Around, and boards the correct flight for which he has a ticket and a reservation. Where is the security risk?
 
bond007
Posts: 4428
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:18 am

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 74):
he very much did NOT commit fraud since he received no goods or services of value by his actions.

Well, "unfair or unlawful gain" does not necessarily have to be monetary. Simply boarding before those who took turn to check-in early is probably enough "gain".

Hey, I'm not advocating the guy should be locked up for 5 years...not at all. But he did a lot more for just a "stern talking to" ... should have not been allowed on the flight, and he wouldn't do it again. Now 50% of A.netters here are thinking of doing it  Wink

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
joeljack
Posts: 619
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:38 pm

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:22 am

I have friends that fly all the time and constantly change from a B or C to an A. It is way way too easy to do. Takes less than 30 seconds. I've never done it myself because I don't fly southwest. If I did, I would do the same thing. The reason why it's so easy to change is because it's an html document that southwest produces, if it was an image it couldn't easily be changed.

I bet at least 5 to 10 people per plane change it.
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2725
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:38 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 76):
Well, "unfair or unlawful gain" does not necessarily have to be monetary. Simply boarding before those who took turn to check-in early is probably enough "gain".

no, it has to stand up in court. It has to stand up to lots of lawyers on both sides who usually rather NOT screw with petty stuff like this. So unless there was some REAL and easy to define value in what he did, then its not going to get to even see a judge. Its like trying to arrest someone for using "fraud" to get an extra free sample of Bob's random chicken bits n unidentifiable goo at a warehouse store. I even recall a case where someone tried to prosecute someone for that very thing... judge tossed it out since the product was "free" and no terms were placed on acquiring it. You can't steal or defraud someone of something they are giving for free.

Since boarding a WN flight early is in fact "free"....

I mean if the guy was thinking a cheap crutch and knee brace gets you a free pre-board....
 
richierich
Posts: 3599
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:45 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 73):
OK, I will, they weren't changed, they weren't fraudulent, and they weren't entering under false pretenses.

And he didn't enter under "false pretenses" either! I'm assuming he had ID and I'm assuming he had a flight to catch. The boarding priority does not constitute "false pretenses", "fraud" or anything else in the blurb you included.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 73):
It doesn't, as I've said before. It's the fact that he changed his boarding pass = fraud. No question any lawyer would have any problem.

Right. No lawyer would get involved because there is nothing to get involved about. A boarding pass has to show relevant information regarding date, name and flight. Anything else, frankly, is not the concern of the TSA or the local police - you have failed to show me where the law states any different to this.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 73):
Correct! Never said they were. But you bet they COULD care less about people changing boarding passes (for whatever reason).

The "whatever reason" is the part I have a problem with. Changing a boarding pass with the intention of gaining access to an area the person is not supposed to be in could be considered fraud/false pretenses. This guy had every right to board that plane, just procedurally he skipped the line. As for the boarding pass itself, it is not a sacred document. As we've already agreed upon, they are accepted in all manners anyway, provided the relevant information matches. The boarding priority number is hardly a vital piece of information and does absolutely ZERO to enhance security.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 73):
am actually taking it word for word ... again, it's quite clear.

What is clear? It is obvious that your view of the law is far from accurate if you think that that law applies clearly here! I would not recommend doing what this guy did but I hardly think it is anything as serious as the way you have made it sound. In my opinion, this guy was nothing more than a smartass who thought he could get around WN's boarding process.
You point to a law that mentions access to a secure area or aircraft by "fraud" and "false pretenses", but that is not what occurred in this example. If you can find me a law that states the "manipulating the boarding process" is a crime, then I will agree that it is clear. But we both know that such a rule does not exist.


Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 74):
Now the Forgery aspect is more complex, and what might get him into actual trouble. However w/o another meaningful crime being committed by said forgery,

And even if you could make a roundabout case that a law had been broken - something I am far from convinced of - there is still a huge element of discretion here. I'm guessing that Bond knows very little about discretion but it is actually a very strong power to have. In this case, it was decided that this guy posed no threat and was basically guilty of little more than jumping to the head of the queue. Again, I think he could have (make that 'should have') been confronted and told that he was not allowed to do this, to perhaps thwart a future attempt. He could also have been tossed off the plane - but clearly it was just easier to let it go. As for throwing the book at him, I am quite convinced that this would have been completely unnecessary and a waste of time, especially because (a) its debatable as to whether an offense even took place and (b) the net gain for said passenger was skipping the line at the WN counter. Hopefully the local authorities have bigger things to worry about than that.

Honestly, Mr. Bond, as much as I agree that this passenger is probably somewhere between a jackass and a moron, I would not use the word 'criminal'. The idea that the police/security/TSA (whatever) should overreact every time some dummy pulls a silly stunt like this is exactly what some people see as wrong in our society. I am supporting Rachel for doing the right thing - she told her sup and WN's security. They were in a much better position to answer this call than either you or I. Thank God you are not a cop or a judge.
None shall pass!!!!
 
threepoint
Posts: 1293
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:49 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:52 am

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 8):
It is extremely easy to doctor a boarding pass. I could do it, but I value my freedom.

That's it, keep cowering and the authorities will continue to erode your freedoms which you cherish.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 13):
We're all advocating refusing fat people, praying muslims, and those with bad breath, but we leave the guy alone who blatantly changed his boarding pass.

Speak for yourself. I could care less if I were on a plane full of large folks or praying Muslims. Bad breath is less than appealing, but is that worth denying boarding? Nope, didn't think so.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 10):
Since the customer had a valid ticket and was just trying to get a better seat, I personally would have let him fly, but made him wait until all other passengers had boarded.

And that would have been the appropriate punishment. Maybe he could have been allocated the seat between Bond007's twin obese Muslims with halitosis.

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 17):
Very unrealistic attitude. Safety and security (and profits) share the same top spot on all airlines list of priorities.

Yes they do. However, this challenged none of the above.

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 17):
This was a very serious breach of security.

One needs to redefine one's opinion of 'very serious' then. What breach of security? There was none.

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 17):
The bad guys are figuring out how to do these things. It's only a matter of time before we get hit again.

Oh for ____'s sake. Where do you even start responding to this sort of comment.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 23):
He changed a boarding pass. Fraud.



Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 17):
Just doctored a boarding pass? The man committed fraud.



Quoting FLY2LIM (Reply 32):
A customer changed/altered/modified a boarding pass. As many have stated, that equals fraud and is punishable.

Any of you guys lawyers? No? But I'm suggesting your tolerance may be at Talibanesque levels.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 23):
Then we really have no hope, do we? A gate agent knew a pass looked phoney and let the guy board.
Who cares if 5,000 pax aren't boarded because somebody with other intentions changed a boarding pass. Somebody runs through security and the airport is closed down for 4 hrs .... let's not put boarding 130 pax a priority before security!

Name and ID matched. Passenger was valid. Mountain avoided - molehill accepted. Make sure you never apply for a gate agent position please.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 28):
Customer Service to the customer who changed his boarding pass??? Gimme a break, he shouldn't have got a seat at all.

No, customer service as it relates to the rest of the passengers. Your system will inevitably delay and frustrate them infinitely more than some cheeky guy securing a choice seat.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2725
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:55 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 79):
And even if you could make a roundabout case that a law had been broken - something I am far from convinced of - there is still a huge element of discretion here

Right, I'm just saying that currently forgery is a "secondary" crime, or one in which you have to have committed another serious offense before you will be charged with it. If you sign your brothers name to a credit card slip to a card in his name, its technically a crime, but no one would ever prosecute unless you were actually stealing from him. If he knew about it, and wanted you to do it for some reason... Then how is any DA going to get that past any sane judge.
 
IslesFan
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:18 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:11 am

Quoting Joeljack (Reply 77):
I have friends that fly all the time and constantly change from a B or C to an A. It is way way too easy to do. Takes less than 30 seconds. I've never done it myself because I don't fly southwest. If I did, I would do the same thing. The reason why it's so easy to change is because it's an html document that southwest produces, if it was an image it couldn't easily be changed.

I bet at least 5 to 10 people per plane change it.

I wonder if a simple idea of instead of printing out a webpage, a PDF file is generated when you request a boarding pass. This would also help people who want to check in and can't print it out right there and then.
 
atnight
Posts: 537
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:06 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:33 am

Reading some of the comments posted, I have one question for those who says he should be punished..... Have you never done anything that's wrong to gain any personal gain (whatever that may be)? Because you folks seem to jump on this guy's case because he altered a small technicality, so I just wonder, have you ever being guilty of saying a "technicality" (or lie) to the police officer who pulls you over because of speeding (which is braking the law)? How have you felt when the cop gave you a warning instead of a $250 ticket? Probably you felt lucky, and kept on going relieved that you were forgiven for it... If you get the ticket, will that really make you stop going fast forever? probably not.... So unless you are going to abide by all the rules, trying to say this guy deserves a bigger punishment than having a talk from the supervisor, seems rather hypocritical... I recommend that it would be better if you don't say anything and instead encourage people to do the right thing... (but if you abide by every single law, go ahead!)
Don't twist my words, I'm not saying people should do what's wrong, all I'm saying is that you have to take each situation in its right proportion...
So, if you guys are keen in getting on this guys case for boarding earlier, then I ONLY HOPE you never ever tell the cops a lie and when pulled over, you ask to be given the complete fine....
B707 B727 B733/5/7/8/9 B742/4 B752/3 B763/4 B772 A310 A318/319/320 A332 A343 MD80 DC9/10 CRJ200 ERJ145 ERJ-170 Be1900 Da
 
gffgold
Posts: 184
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:23 pm

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:50 am

Quoting IslesFan (Reply 82):
I wonder if a simple idea of instead of printing out a webpage, a PDF file is generated when you request a boarding pass.

This is the way some airlines do it. However... a little utility called Foxit PDF Editor gets around that quite easily.
 
bond007
Posts: 4428
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: Doctored Online Boarding Pass

Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:59 am

Quoting Atnight (Reply 83):
Have you never done anything that's wrong to gain any personal gain (whatever that may be)?

Yes

Quoting Atnight (Reply 83):
have you ever being guilty of saying a "technicality" (or lie) to the police officer who pulls you over because of speeding (which is braking the law)?

Yes ....'braking' ...was that a pun? (no, not that smart right?)

Quoting Atnight (Reply 83):
If you get the ticket, will that really make you stop going fast forever?

I'm much less likely to speed again if I lose $80 .... which is a bad comparison because he would have missed his flight ... probably a bigger loss than just a $80 speeding ticket ... in which case, I would definitely be more careful.

By that way of thinking we'd only ever give all criminals a "stern talking to".

Quoting Atnight (Reply 83):
seems rather hypocritical

Ok, so tell that to your parents, the police, your politicians, the judges, your boss, and everyone else in authority, because in 90% of the cases they did the same things they are reprimanding you for  Yeah sure

They have every right to expect you to follow the rules, just as much as I do.

Quoting Atnight (Reply 83):
I recommend that it would be better if you don't say anything

Thanks for the advice.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!

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