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Gonzalo
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Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:08 pm

( I couldn't find anything about this, my apologizes if this has been already posted. )

An Air One Airbus A320, performing flight AP-742 from Venice to Palma Mallorca, departed Venice with 7 passengers less than stated on the passenger manifest listing all passengers who had been checked in. The 7 passengers were still sitting on an airport van taking them from the waiting lounge of the terminal to the parking position of the aircraft when the aircraft became airborne.

http://www.avherald.com/h?article=452a76e0&opt=0


The big safety problem here is, the aircraft was still carrying the luggage of the missing 7 passengers. The lack of an adequate control over this could make another Lockerbie possible, and should not be tolerated.

The airline says "an internal investigation is under way", but I'm missing some sort of involvement from the aviation authorities here...

Thoughts ?
 
roseflyer
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):

The big safety problem here is, the aircraft was still carrying the luggage of the missing 7 passengers. The lack of an adequate control over this could make another Lockerbie possible, and should not be tolerated.

Involuntary separation from baggage is not considered a safety problem at airlines. Those 7 passengers had full intention of taking the flight, but the airline screwed it up. It would be ok departing with those bags on the plane since it was outside of the passenger's control that they got separated from their bag.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):

The airline says "an internal investigation is under way", but I'm missing some sort of involvement from the aviation authorities here...

I see a problem with the airline and not really a problem relating to authorities. The ground crew was not communicating properly with the flight crew or cabin crew. Obviously someone thought that all the passengers were on board and closed the airplane. Airlines aren't required to do a mandatory count of passengers on all airlines as it is assumed that the manifest who boarded are on the plane. Cases of a shuttle bus to a remote spot getting lost is a rare event.

I see this as a problem that the airport operations department should fix. They should not have shut the door with a lost airport shuttle bus to the remote stand. However problems do happen. Taking off with the incorrect manifest is a problem too. 7 passengers missing is not good at all.
 
UALFAson
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:29 pm

Sounds to me more like a customer service snafu than a safety concern.

The 7 pax who got left behind weren't deliberately trying to avoid making the flight. It was the airline's fault they didn't actually get on board, not anything they themselves did. These passengers, were they really terrorists, had absolutely no way of knowing ahead of time that they wouldn't actually get on board this aircraft. In fact, it sounds like they made every intention of doing so (checking in, boarding the bus to the plane, etc.)

"Checked-in" passengers miss connecting flights all the time. On Thursday, my FLL-EWR flight was delayed an hour due to weather. Despite already having a boarding pass for my EWR-DCA connection and me being shown as checked-in, I didn't make it to the gate on time and the plane left without me. This Air One situation is basically the same thing.
 
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par13del
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:40 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 1):
Airlines aren't required to do a mandatory count of passengers on all airlines as it is assumed that the manifest who boarded are on the plane.

Issue is that the a/c took off with the F/A count of pax on board not matching the number on the release documents.
I stand to be corrected but is it not a requirement that all a/c have a cross check between tickects collected / or pax thru the turnstiles against the actual bums in the seats, the number of souls onboard is supposed to be accurate and a copy of said signed documents is onbord as well as on the ground.
 
gizmonc
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:46 pm

Only international flights where the airline is required to pull luggage of passengers NOT on the flight. Domestic flights do not follow that rule. Many times passengers check in late for their flight, bags are tagged late check in, passengers heads to security and there is a long line or security is slow for some reason. Bags are scanned via TSA sent to the respective airline and out the plane. If it is push time and the bags are loaded and the passenger is not in the gate area to board. The bags travel without the passenger and this is very acceptable. I see it happen on a daily basis.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:02 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
I stand to be corrected but is it not a requirement that all a/c have a cross check between tickects collected / or pax thru the turnstiles against the actual bums in the seats, the number of souls onboard is supposed to be accurate and a copy of said signed documents is onbord as well as on the ground.

It is not always a requirement. Some airlines do hard counts and some do not.
 
toltommy
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:05 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 5):
It is not always a requirement. Some airlines do hard counts and some do not.

Then how do they know if they are in compliance for weight and balance? 7 pax is probably around a 1400lb difference.
 
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par13del
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:12 pm

Quoting toltommy (Reply 6):
Then how do they know if they are in compliance for weight and balance? 7 pax is probably around a 1400lb difference.

Jet a/c have a greater tolerance than props, so not much of an issue with missing 7 folks and their carry on bags, a/c are despatched with some estimated figures as some bags are not weighed, take those that are taken down as carry on but not allowed in the cabin.
I'm more concerned about it not being a legal requirement that there be a hard count to match the signed paperwork, I actually thought is was a legal requirement that airlines had to follow.
You learn more each day.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:17 pm

Quoting toltommy (Reply 6):


Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 5):
It is not always a requirement. Some airlines do hard counts and some do not.

Then how do they know if they are in compliance for weight and balance? 7 pax is probably around a 1400lb difference.

The manifest is based on who boarded the plane. The differences between the chance that a passenger goes through the boarding door and has a boarding pass scanned, but not end up in a seat on the plane is sufficiently small that not all airlines do hard counts of empty seats.
 
PHX787
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:33 pm

It's a problem of communication between the airport and the airline. When those 7 checked in, the airline should've been immediately notified.

That's the problem with boarding in the midfield; you may go through the "gate" but on the bus it's uncertainty.
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:35 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 8):
The manifest is based on who boarded the plane. The differences between the chance that a passenger goes through the boarding door and has a boarding pass scanned, but not end up in a seat on the plane is sufficiently small that not all airlines do hard counts of empty seats.

Exactly. The issue here is not, as the thread title states wrongfully, whether or not the passengers were checked in.

The issue is that they were boarded, that is what the passenger list is based upon.

I'm surprised that no poster in this thread has realized the real problem with this situation! The problem is obviously the case of an accident / crash. In such an event the passenger list will be used as a base for about everything related to the incident. Any passenger that is on the list but does not turn up after an accident, either alive or as an identifiable body, will be considered missing and eventually (after the search and rescue is over) declared dead. Relatives will be notified. Now at the same time, the person might be somewhere on vacation, not knowing anything unusual happened, maybe for weeks while rescue teams are still looking for him, maybe risking their lives in a burning wreckage looking for him. The relatives might have already buried the person (with an empty coffin) when he gets back from his holiday.

There is no excuse for taking off with an incorrect passenger list.

Soren   
 
aeroblogger
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:40 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 9):

That's the problem with boarding in the midfield; you may go through the "gate" but on the bus it's uncertainty.

That's why AI usually collects BP stubs at the door of the aircraft itself rather than at the gate...
 
UALFAson
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:31 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 10):
There is no excuse for taking off with an incorrect passenger list.

Meh, passenger lists aren't 100 percent accurate all the time anyway. As a standby, on more than one occassion I have been issued a dummy boarding pass under a fake name at the last second before the doors close or just told to take whatever seat is open.

With all due respect, your scenario of family members burying a supposedly dead loved one after an incredibly unlikely fatal accident only to have him/her suddenly turn up weeks later is a bit far-fetched.

I go back to my initial post. While it's poor customer service on the airline's part since they knew these passengers were, in fact, there, I don't see how this is any different in principle whatsoever from passengers holding a boarding pass who miss their connections due to weather, ATC, delayed aircraft, etc, which happens thousands of times on a daily basis.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:38 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 10):
I'm surprised that no poster in this thread has realized the real problem with this situation! The problem is obviously the case of an accident / crash. In such an event the passenger list will be used as a base for about everything related to the incident. Any passenger that is on the list but does not turn up after an accident, either alive or as an identifiable body, will be considered missing and eventually (after the search and rescue is over) declared dead. Relatives will be notified. Now at the same time, the person might be somewhere on vacation, not knowing anything unusual happened, maybe for weeks while rescue teams are still looking for him, maybe risking their lives in a burning wreckage looking for him. The relatives might have already buried the person (with an empty coffin) when he gets back from his holiday.

I really don't think an accident is a condition that really worries the airline. Having a breakdown in communication that allowed the door to be shut with passengers missing is a bigger problem and likely will be reviewed within the airline. Weight and balance and having incorrect baggage is likely a bigger problem than what would happen in an accident. I'd assume that once the gate agents found out what happened, the airplane had already departed. I wouldn't be surprised if the captain had been contacted once they found out the problem.

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 10):

There is no excuse for taking off with an incorrect passenger list.

True, but it does happen occasionally. It can get particularly messy with standby passengers and non-revs. It's a bigger problem on international flights, but incorrect manifests happen.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:44 pm

Despite not being on the flight, the 7 missed pax had gone through security, they were on the 'secure' side, their number was accounted for and their bags had been subjected to security inspections. To me it is more about a dumb and embarrassing transfer, not a major security risk.
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:59 pm

Roseflyer has covered most of it perfectly, However take it from someone who has controlled many remote gate departures at the aircraft, I can see how it happened. Communication between the two ground staff + airport bus driver + pilots has to be exact and detailed, but there is plenty of room for error still even so.

Here's a sample dialog of how it could have panned out.

Gate Agent: The last bus #12 is leaving the terminal now with last passengers aboard and manifest, Total boarded xxx.
Bus with last customers to board leaves terminal, and OVERTAKES the previous bus with 7 passengers onboard for some reason ATC/driver error etc (remember they do not have radio contact with buses as airlines/airports have different radio setups) . Bus #12 arrives at the aircraft and loads passengers.

Remote agent---> Gate agent: All passengers onboard. Confirming last bus number 12 had last passengers and manifest onboard.

Gate agent --> Remote agent: Affirmative. that's all.

Remote agent ---> Pilot + Cabin crew : Last bus has finished loading. All passengers aboard. Your POB is xxx
Xabin crew -->matches manifest.
Pilot ---> We have the final loadsheet which matches. You can close up.

Doors closed, Airstairs removed.

Remote agent departs once Aircraft is on the move, Still no sign of lost bus by then or airstairs could be reapplied
 
mandala499
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:48 pm

Quoting toltommy (Reply 6):
Then how do they know if they are in compliance for weight and balance? 7 pax is probably around a 1400lb difference.

You can do a last minute adjustment on the move.
What we don't know is if the flight took off without knowing that 7 passengers are missing. We only know that the 7 passengers were left behind.
It could be as simple as, "we're going to miss that slot time, head count..."
"we're missing 7"
"Where's the 7?"
"there's a minibus taking the 7 somewhere... we don't know where it is."
"Screw it! Close the door, we're going !"
Then the look at their computerized flight plan, to see if missing 7 passengers without luggage require an adjustment to the performance numbers or not (probably not, in terms of fuel burn, and some have the "adjustments" to CFP after 1 ton change).

The manifest, remains on the ground anyways, so leaving the 7 pax behind, the airline can know immediately that the 7 was not on board.

There's not much information to determine or even guess what happened to make any conclusions... Avherald is the only one covering this. No statement from AirOne yet anywhere.

Mandala499
 
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GCT64
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:18 pm

Quoting gizmonc (Reply 4):
Only international flights where the airline is required to pull luggage of passengers NOT on the flight. Domestic flights do not follow that rule. Many times passengers check in late for their flight, bags are tagged late check in, passengers heads to security and there is a long line or security is slow for some reason. Bags are scanned via TSA sent to the respective airline and out the plane. If it is push time and the bags are loaded and the passenger is not in the gate area to board. The bags travel without the passenger and this is very acceptable. I see it happen on a daily basis.

That's what happens in the US. It is certainly not what happens in the UK. UK airlines do not depart when the baggage is on board and the pax are not. What frequently happens on, say, EZY is that as the last boarding time passes they start calling the pax and simultaneously looking for their bags - if the pax are found first, they get to fly, if the bags are found first they get removed and the plane leaves without the pax or their bags. If you're on hand baggage only ... unlucky, they just go without you!

In this example, neither US nor UK rules will apply - it will be Italian rules ........ and I have absolutely no idea what the rules are in Italy  
 
olliejolly
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:30 pm

I was gonna say the difference here is that Lockerbie was obviously planned to work out like that, where as this being a risk of repeat would be incredibly unlikely because of the fact that the passengers would have to KNOW that it would get messed up and that they would be left off the flight with their luggage still onboard AND the fact that their luggage would have to have passed through security with no suspicion, but it's still obviously a big disappointment for those involved.
 
aztrainer
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:05 am

Quoting gizmonc (Reply 4):
Only international flights where the airline is required to pull luggage of passengers NOT on the flight. Domestic flights do not follow that rule. Many times passengers check in late for their flight, bags are tagged late check in, passengers heads to security and there is a long line or security is slow for some reason. Bags are scanned via TSA sent to the respective airline and out the plane. If it is push time and the bags are loaded and the passenger is not in the gate area to board. The bags travel without the passenger and this is very acceptable. I see it happen on a daily basis.

This would make sense since I have checked in early for a flight and had my bags travel to the destination prior to me. Mostly in Hawai'i, but I also had only my bag get to SNA from PHX on WN before while the rest of my family's arrived on the plane. That one got me scratching my head.
 
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Gonzalo
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:39 am

Hi everyone. Ok, first, I want to apologize, probably the wording I choose fot the thread title was not the best.
Second, I was confused ( again .... when will I learn ?? ) and had the wrong idea about the situation where a baggage is in the plane but not the passenger. Here in Chile, every time that a baggage is in the plane but not the owner, that baggage is removed, frequently causing some delay to the flight. I always had the idea that the cause for that was more for preventing a terrorist attack like Lockerbie and not precisely because the airline is worried for returning the bag to the passenger who miss the flight. My mistake.

Quoting Olliejolly (Reply 18):
I was gonna say the difference here is that Lockerbie was obviously planned to work out like that, where as this being a risk of repeat would be incredibly unlikely because of the fact that the passengers would have to KNOW that it would get messed up and that they would be left off the flight with their luggage still on board AND the fact that their luggage would have to have passed through security with no suspicion, but it's still obviously a big disappointment for those involved.

Sure, this was a random case, but to be honest, I still could imagine an scenario where a terrorist plot can have some members infiltrated in the organisation of an airline, and take advantages of situations like this. Obviously I'm being very pessimist with that view, since the scenario Mandala describes above where the captain decides to leave the parking position even knowing that there are some people missing the flight is also very plausible.

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 15):
Bus with last customers to board leaves terminal, and OVERTAKES the previous bus with 7 passengers on board for some reason ATC/driver error etc (remember they do not have radio contact with buses as airlines/airports have different radio setups) . Bus #12 arrives at the aircraft and loads passengers.

Ok, but the AvHrld report says that the aircraft "became airborne" when the van was on its way to the parking slot, so that overtaking should be a veeery fast one    

Rgds.
G.
 
SWALUV
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:03 am

How is this different than an airline putting your luggage on an earlier flight because you arrived early and they had room for your luggage. This has happened many times before on flights I have been on so my question is how is this different.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:13 am

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 8):
The manifest is based on who boarded the plane. The differences between the chance that a passenger goes through the boarding door and has a boarding pass scanned, but not end up in a seat on the plane is sufficiently small that not all airlines do hard counts of empty seats.
Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 10):
Exactly. The issue here is not, as the thread title states wrongfully, whether or not the passengers were checked in.

Part of the issue has to do with the definition of "checking in."

At the beginning of scheduled travel, a passenger purchased a ticket at the airport, surrendered it for a boarding pass, and then surrendered that on boarding.

Next, tickets could be purchased in advanced (as recently as the 80s'), but check-in was done at the airport. Anyone not checked-in prior to some cut-off could lose their seat.

Today, check-in is simply a method of generating a boarding pass and can be done from off-site. Thus, it is possible to check in and yet never set foot within the airport perimeter.

It strikes me as if perhaps there needs to be some industry standardization of this practice.
 
gonnabapilot
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:41 am

This happens daily. While it's rare to leave 7 passengers it's usually just a few. If the airlines were to wait for every checked-in passenger to board the plane, the rest of the paying passengers that paid for their flight to be on-time would be outraged. The bottom line is, the passengers that missed the plane knew the departure time of the aircraft 1) when they bought their ticket, 2) when they got the conformation email, 3) when they checked in and a good chance that the customer service agents were making announcements so any excuse by the passengers failing to take over an hour to get from the ticket counter to the gate is unacceptable and 100% their fault. I do admit that sometimes there are hangups at security or in other places but every airline recommends you be at the airport to check in for your flight NO LATER than 2 hours prior to departure to avoid this exact situation.
 
AirCanada787
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:40 am

Quoting GCT64 (Reply 17):
Quoting gizmonc (Reply 4):
Only international flights where the airline is required to pull luggage of passengers NOT on the flight. Domestic flights do not follow that rule. Many times passengers check in late for their flight, bags are tagged late check in, passengers heads to security and there is a long line or security is slow for some reason. Bags are scanned via TSA sent to the respective airline and out the plane. If it is push time and the bags are loaded and the passenger is not in the gate area to board. The bags travel without the passenger and this is very acceptable. I see it happen on a daily basis.

That's what happens in the US. It is certainly not what happens in the UK. UK airlines do not depart when the baggage is on board and the pax are not.

Same in Canada as far as I know. I have been in airports and heard announcements for domestic flights that have told passengers who were very late that their bags were 'in the process of being removed from the plane'.

Quoting SWALUV (Reply 21):

How is this different than an airline putting your luggage on an earlier flight because you arrived early and they had room for your luggage. This has happened many times before on flights I have been on so my question is how is this different.

I've wondered about that as well, partly because I have had it to happen to me. I can only assume it is because passengers really have no way of knowing if their flight will be sent on an earlier plane so its not a risk.
 
dank
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:51 am

On china eastern recently, they scanned my boarding pass at the gate and then took the non stub part at the steps to the plane, presumably this would catch the situation where one bus/van doesn't make it.
 
RIXrat
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:59 am

One can also make a case for lost baggage. Just imagine how many pieces of this type of luggage is flying around the world trying to reach its owner at any given time. It has gone through security initially, but then went somewhere completely different than planned. Are there also special security procedures for this kind of problem?
 
keegd76
Posts: 87
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:32 am

Quoting GCT64 (Reply 17):
That's what happens in the US. It is certainly not what happens in the UK. UK airlines do not depart when the baggage is on board and the pax are not. What frequently happens on, say, EZY is that as the last boarding time passes they start calling the pax and simultaneously looking for their bags - if the pax are found first, they get to fly, if the bags are found first they get removed and the plane leaves without the pax or their bags. If you're on hand baggage only ... unlucky, they just go without you!

Totally agree. Haven't been on a flight yet where the cabin crew didn't perform a head count (and usually more than one) before closing the doors. The idea that a pilot would knowingly take off with missing passengers but yet still leave their luggage on board is laughable at best and frightening at worst.

Quoting SWALUV (Reply 21):
How is this different than an airline putting your luggage on an earlier flight because you arrived early and they had room for your luggage. This has happened many times before on flights I have been on so my question is how is this different.

Wouldn't the difference be that there would be a record of you having been on the plane and therefore fulfilled the requirement of meeting the flight whereas the airline dropped the ball and 'misplaced' your luggage.

If airlines/airports are allowing flights to depart with luggage but without passengers isn't this a security risk? Wouldn't a terrorist just have to check in for a flight, go through security, sit in departures until their flight leaves and then walk out. I'm assuming that getting out of departures, once through security, would require 'inside' help but how hard would that be if the necessary people were in place?

Sounds like the billions spent on airport security is all for nought if airlines/airports are allowing this to happen.
 
fn1001
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:36 pm

RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:52 pm

Quoting gizmonc (Reply 4):
Only international flights where the airline is required to pull luggage of passengers NOT on the flight. Domestic flights do not follow that rule.

it was an international flight, between Venezia (VCE) in Italy and Palma de Mallorca (PMI) belonging to Spain, two different countries...
 
UALWN
Posts: 2186
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:27 pm

RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:58 pm

Quoting FN1001 (Reply 28):
it was an international flight, between Venezia (VCE) in Italy and Palma de Mallorca (PMI) belonging to Spain, two different countries...

But within the Schengen area. Hence no customs or passport control. In fact, indistinguishable from a domestic (intra-Italy or intra-Spain) flight.
 
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Gonzalo
Topic Author
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:17 pm

Quoting keegd76 (Reply 27):
I'm assuming that getting out of departures, once through security, would require 'inside' help but how hard would that be if the necessary people were in place?

Not necessarily, in many many airports the baggage claim and exit way out of the airport ( in other words, the "Arrivals" building ) are connected in one way or other with the pre-boarding areas ( in other words, the "Departures" building ). If you are familiarized enough with the airport and have the knowledge of what turns to make or what doors to open, you can leave the airport instead of boarding a plane, without being questioned.

Rgds.
G.
 
JAL
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RE: Flight Departed Without 7 Checked In Passengers

Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:51 pm

A serious breach of security here.

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