New Delhi: Kingfisher Airlines allowed a passenger to board with one month old boarding pass in Delhi. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) also failed to see that the pass was dated January 10 and let him fly on February 10.
On February 10 at 5.55 am, 29-year-old Ankush Wadhera entered Delhi's T3 terminal to board a Kingfisher flight to Kolkata. A frequent flyer, Ankush carried a computerised boarding pass after a web check-in. He passed through CISF security at the terminal entrance, checked in at the Kingfisher counter and boarded the flight without a hitch. Finding his seat occupied, Ankush checked his boarding pass - and found to his horror that he was traveling on a one month old ticket.
"For people like me who fly frequently, it's all the more a concern. This is a systematic failure which if somebody knows how to game the system, they can take complete undue advantage of. I was sitting in the aircraft, suddenly looked at the ticket and I said wow, this is using a January 10 ticket and sitting in the aircraft," said Ankush.
The incident raises certain questions - How did CISF security fail to notice the discrepancy? And why did the airline staff at the kingfisher counter not see the PNR number was wrong?
Ankush said, "We say we have created a best in class infrastructure in terms of airport, with Terminal 3. But if you go in the morning around 5.30 am, it's like a market place."
When contacted, both CISF and Kingfisher said they're probing the matter and their staff will be penalised if they're found sleeping on the job. But the question is - Is slipping through security at India's premier airport that easy? Can Indian airports afford to compromise on the safety and security of millions of air passengers in these times of terror?