I’m off to Panama to visit my brother and my dad. At this precise moment I’m sitting in American flight#959 waiting in the plane. We’ve been waiting for 2 hours to depart (the flight takes 2.5 hours so even with a strong tail wind we’ll arrive really late).
Why are we late departing? Because a passenger who had checked 2 bags didn’t show up. So they have to pull the bags. But they don’t know where the bags are in the cargo hold. and guess what? I’ll bet they are identifying the bag by the passenger’s name on the little luggage tag.
One more question: do you think it’s possible the passenger put someone else’s name on the checked luggage? Nah! That would be a rather large security hole. And we are really good at airport security, don’t you think?
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I just had a friend get back from a trip to Toronto. When he got to his seat there was a guy sitting in it with a ticket for the same seat number – not out of the ordinary you might think but the ticket this guy was holding had my friends name on it. Makes you wonder how he ever got on the plane!
Far be it for me to praise the “logic” of airport security, I’m not sure if this is an actual hole. I think the computerized luggage tags that the airline attaches to the bags when you check them in themselves contain the passenger’s name, plus a barcode for tracking the bag which may also tie into the reservation record. So I do feel confident that the airline could at least match the bags to the missing passenger without having to rely on the honor system…
Panama sounds really nice about now–even if I’m in California.