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  #41  
Old 31 January 2018, 11:32 PM
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This seems very odd. How does an airline confirm that you have a valid passport and visas if required, without confirming that at the check-in desk. If the answer is "at the gate", then the gate effectively becomes the check-in desk. At what point do you check your baggage in.
I don't know what happens at Chicago O'Hare, but in Europe a large proportion of travellers don't check luggage in at the moment. The airlines - starting with budget airlines, but spreading to many others - have been discouraging it for several years now by charging extra for check-in bags. The real budget airlines even penalise you by charging you extra for checking in at the airport - you have to do it on-line and print out your boarding pass yourself. (The reason for both of these things appears to be that the airline has to pay money to the airport to use baggage handlers and check-in desks, so if they can make passengers bypass those things for them by carrying the bags and doing the work themselves, they can save that money. Of course they pass it all back to the passengers in terms of cheaper fares, and wouldn't dream of keeping any back as profit.)

So as I said, I've not been to the check-in desk at the airport for several years, I don't think. The only place that the airline knows they're going to see everybody is at the gate - and this is because of their deliberate policies.
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  #42  
Old 31 January 2018, 11:49 PM
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Much of that is true for domestic flights within the US as well, but the last time I checked in for a flight to a country for which I needed a visa the system wouldn't let me check in online and specifically told me I needed to go to the check in desk at the airport. This was because they wanted to verify that I had a visa for my destination country before they would let me check in. This was about a year and a half ago. The last time I went to Europe (IOW no visa required) I think I was able to check in online. IIRC I did have to enter my passport number when I checked in and also show my passport at the gate.
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  #43  
Old 01 February 2018, 02:45 AM
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We have experienced problems with them checking too close, for example insisting a visa is necessary when one isn't which is a huge hassle (or, in rare cases, not checking close enough - which obviously should be the passenger's responsibility but, well, if they're checking one wishes they'd actually check). Overall it seems to work very well but I'm not that surprised someone with good social skills can get through.
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  #44  
Old 01 February 2018, 03:04 AM
UrbanLegends101 UrbanLegends101 is offline
 
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The issue of travel documentation can take an interesting turn for former Filipinos going back to the Philippines.

Philippines has a BALIKBAYAN PROGRAM allows a one-year visa-free stay for Filipinos working overseas and for former Filipinos who have acquired citizenship in certain countries. The visa-free stay privilege is extended to the balikbayan’s non-Filipino spouse and children, on the two conditions that (1) they enter the Philippines with the balikbayan and (2) they are citizens of a country listed on the website.

Former Filipino balikbayans travelling to the Philippines are advised to bring either their old Philippine passport or copy of Philippine birth certificate as proof of their former Philippine citizenship.

Accompanying family members of the balikbayan can bring appropriate supporting documents to show evidence of relationship:

For the spouse: copy of marriage certificate
For each child: copy of birth certificate (indicating the balikbayan as a parent)
For adopted children: copy of adoption papers


A few years back, however, one of my wife's brothers was going back to Philippines and the airline was not going to let him board in JAX if he did not have his old Philippines passport.

Ever since that incident, my wife started carrying her long-expired Philippines passport, but she has never been asked to produce it to get the balikbayan visa, nor have we ever had to produce any of the documents for me and our daughter if we came into the country with her for our balikbayan visa stamps. Actually, stamp is a bit misleading, for all entry immigrations would do is write the initials BB along side the entry stamp.
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  #45  
Old 01 February 2018, 11:15 AM
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So as I said, I've not been to the check-in desk at the airport for several years, I don't think. The only place that the airline knows they're going to see everybody is at the gate - and this is because of their deliberate policies.
Are you sure you are not the little old woman in the article Richard? On the (commercial) flights I have made over the last few years from the UK, both international and within the UK the security arrangements have been so vigorous that it is impossible to get “airside” without passing through full body scanners and unpacking all of your hand lugguage for laptops and removing belts and shoes.

To get to the scanners I have had to have my passport and boarding pass scanned which are checked again at the gate (well at Gatwick they are)

Perhaps you have just been blindly walking through the wrong doors and have found a secret route to the aircraft!

Please share your secrets! Are you the Little Old Lady??!!!
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  #46  
Old 01 February 2018, 11:41 AM
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I'm not talking about the security... it seems the woman in the story generally goes through security as well. We're discussing how easy it is to get through security without paperwork, and it's probably easier than people would assume. She apparently sometimes manages to nick somebody else's boarding pass, and sometimes sneaks past that barrier somehow.

It would be much harder to bypass security altogether, but those security checks don't check your identity or whether you're allowed to travel - only what you're carrying. And since she's not actually carrying anything threatening (I wonder if she even has bags with her at all?) she probably finds that bit easier than many of us!

(eta) Your boarding pass is checked before security by the automatic machine, but last time I went through Gatwick just after Christmas, my passport wasn't checked at that point. I was holding it because I expected it to be checked, but it wasn't checked until the gate.

Last edited by Richard W; 01 February 2018 at 11:47 AM.
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  #47  
Old 01 February 2018, 03:14 PM
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Going back to the point that interests me (since this is my post), what evidence is there that she's mentally ill, other than her persistence in sneaking onto airplanes?

Seaboe
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  #48  
Old 01 February 2018, 03:43 PM
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There doesn't seem to be any in the news reports. It is possible that the people interacting with her have good reasons to think so, but that they are not making that information public, for.a variety of possible reasons, including her privacy.
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  #49  
Old 01 February 2018, 03:48 PM
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Here is a story about a journalist who has talked to her many times.

Quote:
She is very pleasant to speak to on the phone. She is a chipper, energetic woman on the phone. However, in this chipper, energetic voice, she will tell you about a vast conspiracy of people who are harassing her and essentially driving her mad. And she points the finger at Barack Obama, whom she claims has known about this and been the ringleader of this for decades. You know...
ETA: Which would at least suggest further investigation. A mental heath exam has been ordered.
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  #50  
Old 01 February 2018, 04:16 PM
UrbanLegends101 UrbanLegends101 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
We're discussing how easy it is to get through security without paperwork, and it's probably easier than people would assume. She apparently sometimes manages to nick somebody else's boarding pass, and sometimes sneaks past that barrier somehow.
My experience is limited to the airports I've traveled, but I don't think any US airport allows anyone past the first security point without any paperwork, even if it a permission slip from an airline to escort an elderly passenger. Did this once a number of years ago for my MIL at Dulles. This was far enough back when all passengers rode those big buses.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
but those security checks don't check your identity or whether you're allowed to travel - only what you're carrying. And since she's not actually carrying anything threatening (I wonder if she even has bags with her at all?) she probably finds that bit easier than many of us!
.
Again, my experience, especially with US airports, is that the security screener looks at both the boarding pass and identification documents. Most of the time, they check off the name, flight number and date on the boarding pass, well, if paper.
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  #51  
Old 01 February 2018, 04:31 PM
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When I failed to notice the message on my boarding pass that I'd qualified for pre-check, it was the TSA rep in the regular screening line who pointed it out.
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  #52  
Old 01 February 2018, 04:41 PM
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Anytime I've flown recently, there's been a 'gate-keeper' station before going through the scanners where Id and boarding passes are checked. I have been in a few airports where I don't think it would be difficult to circumvent this station, especially if one waited for the right moment.
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  #53  
Old 01 February 2018, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Thank you, GenYus. There are so many possible reasons for behavior like this that the leap to mental illness in the OP seemed to come out of nowhere.

Seaboe
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  #54  
Old 01 February 2018, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
(eta) Your boarding pass is checked before security by the automatic machine, but last time I went through Gatwick just after Christmas, my passport wasn't checked at that point. I was holding it because I expected it to be checked, but it wasn't checked until the gate.
I could have sworn that there are passport scanners at the security room at Gatwick. They take your photo as well to match up with the passport you are carrying.

Border control is well before the gate so there must be a passport check before then. Parhaps you are passing through an inadvertant time portal as well?

I’m genuinley confused as to why your experience is so different to mine!
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  #55  
Old 02 February 2018, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Here is a story about a journalist who has talked to her many times.
That's the same guy who wrote the story I linked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Off View Post
I’m genuinley confused as to why your experience is so different to mine!
Different terminal? (I was at the north terminal last time I flew from Gatwick). Maybe it's changed since you flew?

The previous time I went through Gatwick, I think my passport was checked before security as well. (I can't remember, though - whether it was a scanner or a person, or what). But that was at the south terminal, so not necessarily the same arrangement.

Whatever else is happening, it's certainly the case that the rules and procedures and conventions have been changing a lot lately - which is why I paid enough attention last time I flew to realise that it all relied on the boarding pass, and my passport didn't get checked until the gate.

It's also the case that checking passports and tickets / boarding passes before you fly has been the responsibility of the airlines - not security - for quite a while. The airline obviously has to check the ticket, because they're the ones who issue it. And passports are "officially" checked when you arrive in a country, not when you leave the previous country - the reason airlines check them is to make sure you've a decent chance of being let in when you arrive, to avoid having to fly you straight home again. It's a business decision. (eta - I think it may also be a legal requirement for some countries, but countries can't fully pass off their immigration procedures to airlines, so the airlines aren't ultimately responsible for it).

Half the discussion here comes from conflating business decisions (whether you've paid the airline to fly you) with security decisions (in terms of whether you'll pose a danger on the plane) with immigration decisions (in terms of whether you'll be allowed into the country at the other end of an international flight). Your passport (and visa if necessary) is needed for the third of those. Your boarding pass is needed for the first.

As far as safety is concerned, that's probably the most important and hardest to bypass, and it's the job of the people doing the scanning, but they don't care about the other two factors. The woman in question is apparently good at bypassing the ticketing part, slightly less good at bypassing the boarding pass part (so she usually doesn't end up on the actual flight), but there's no indication that she either tries or manages to avoid the security part. And she can't bypass the immigration part, because at least when she arrived in London recently, she was immediately found out and sent home.

Last edited by Richard W; 02 February 2018 at 12:21 AM.
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  #56  
Old 02 February 2018, 12:21 PM
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I think my last flight was to Hungary last July ish, naturally on Norwegian Air so that was South Terminal.

There was certainly a thorough passport check on arrival at Budapest, but I don’t think they verify that with the boarding pass.

So all you have to do is make it on the plane with a passport and you are through! (Visa restrictions permitting of course!)
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  #57  
Old 02 February 2018, 02:51 PM
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Here, ID (not a passport, necessarily, but qualifying photo ID) is required to get through security. It is definitely a security measure, to match the boarding pass -- which is also required to get through security -- to the person presenting it. People are not confusing business decisions with security ones, they just have a different experience of what the security requirements are.

Here, you have to have a reason for being on the secure side. So you need a boarding pass or a different document the airline can provide if you have a good reason, like needing to help a family member who has a ticket.

For international flights, passports might not be checked until you are at the gate, but you still had to show reliable ID to go through security.
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