AlnessW wrote:Since the departure of magnetic stripe encoding some time ago (not IATA-recognized anymore, as I recall) barcodes or other QR-type codes have obviously become the standard for boarding passes. From what I can tell, this encodes nothing more than the passenger name, airline/flight number, and seat number.
AlnessW wrote:For a while, the usual approach (again going off memory) was for the gate agent to scan the barcode and then tear the stub off manually. While I HAVE seen this done on occasion in the last decade or so, I can't think of any recent flights I've been on where the agent kept the larger portion of my boarding pass
AlnessW wrote:I faintly remember long before web check-in, United (other airlines too, I’m guessing) would use "gate readers" to board the flight - you would insert your boarding pass into a machine that would read the magnetic stripe, display the passenger's info on an LCD screen, then cut the stub off which would be returned to you at the opposite end. ... Given technology, I'm guessing that was a "standalone" unit that wouldn't talk to computers at all. That is - agents would empty the bin full of boarding passes to be manually entered into the system.
mchei wrote:With all the stuff that goes into a barcode this really made me wonder how this could happen.
UALFAson wrote:mchei wrote:With all the stuff that goes into a barcode this really made me wonder how this could happen.
It's rare, but I have seen it happen a couple of times. In fact, I'm pretty sure there have been threads talking about how this can happen. The most likely explanation is that the gate agent isn't paying 100% attention during boarding. They're helping a colleague with a computer issue, answering a passenger's question, inspecting carry-on baggage, etc. and when the bar code reader beeps for the wrong flight, they either don't hear it or manually clear it in the system without catching it.
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