|Quoting cipango (Reply 153):|
People are going on and on about the stolen passports and many have implied that they "chose" the KUL-PEK on purpose.
If they were simply people trying to get into the EU as some believe, maybe the flight from KUL-PEK-AMS-CPH/FRA was cheaper to fly from Malaysia than from Thailand.
This is under the assumption that they were simply passengers and not linked to terrorism.
|Quoting wjcandee (Reply 163):|
I think it's a fair bet that some nefarious activity is involved with those two. The holders of two passports stolen a year apart end up walking into a Pattaya travel agency together for one-way tickets to two different destinations but want the same itinerary until they get to Amsterdam, and they will be departing the next day from a different country 800 miles away?
|Quoting wjcandee (Reply 163):|
The travel agency would be well aware of the cover story given by these two, but I'm sure we're not going to be privy to it as the authorities doubtless want to keep it close to their vest.
|Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 207):|
And id like to know about this agency in pattaya, thats the issuer but are they also the one that sold the ticket?
I think the fact that the two travellers were on CZ
tickets to CPH
via a circuitous route suggests that they were actually trying to get to the booked destinations or at least into the EU. Checking Expedia just now, I find that if I want to travel from KUL
next Saturday (ie same day of the week as the pair we are discussing, and with almost last-minute booking) then the same itinerary on CZ
code-shares comes up as the cheapest option by some AUD300 for CPH
, and marginally cheaper than a UL
one-stop to FRA
I don't find the Uighur (or other) terrorism on a CZ
codeshare explanation at all convincing. If you are going to strike at China you would make certain that you were going to bring down a Chinese airliner, and you would also claim responsibility.
If we view the pair as potential illegal immigrants or refugees, it is a reasonable hypothesis that they contacted people smugglers in Malaysia who offer to provide each of them with an EU passport (previously stolen in Thailand) and tickets to their destination. The travel agency in Pattaya may have taken walk-in bookings from the people-smuggling network, but it is equally possible that they are the ticket issuer for a travel website. The pair would not even have to be known to each other in this scenario - the sequential ticket numbers would be explained by the people smugglers making online reservations for the cheapest travel to the preferred destination.
So I think they may just have been unlucky to get on this flight.
I don't know whether we will hear more detail on the tickets & travel agent quickly from the Malaysian authorities. IIRC news about the stolen passports came to light on Sunday, and someone on a.net posted the reservation details the same day. It could have taken hours before this information was picked up by the Malaysian police and intelligence service. Can you imagine how hard it would be on any day of the week, let alone Sunday, for them to have enquiries made by Thai police in Pattaya? And once the trail of video evidence from KUL
and travel agency interviews in Pattaya is put together, the authorities will presumably be trying to follow up on any criminal or terrorist network.