Passenger asleep on shuttle bus, wakes up hours later in a locked bus to discover that the airline took off without checking whether he or she is on board
Mumbai, June10: It may sound hard to believe that a passenger sleeps on the shuttle taking him to his flight and then waking up hours later in a locked bus to discover that the airline took off without checking whether he or she is on board. But this is precisely what happened at Mumbai airport last Sunday (June 4) with a person who was supposed to fly IndiGo flight 6E 799 to Bengaluru.
According to sources, the flyer boarded the bus from CSIA’s terminal 1 at about 6.30 pm. He possibly sat on the last row of seats in the IndiGo shuttle and then went off to sleep.
All Bengaluru-bound passengers got off the bus, except him. After sensing that everyone had got off the shuttle, the driver — without noticing the sleeping passenger — took the bus to the maintenance area for parking and locked it there. About six hours later when another driver came to operate the bus for more ferries, he discovered the locked-in passenger.
The driver then informed the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) control room around midnight, which is responsible for airport security. Sources say after being ‘rescued’, the passenger told authorities that he woke up four to five hours after boarding the bus and then was looking for some to let him out of the shuttle.
“The biggest lapse is that the airline did not discover that a person who had left the terminal for the aircraft had not boarded the same and that the flight took off without him. This is the reason why boarding cards are scanned at terminal gates and then boarding card stubs are torn at aircraft entry point (either ladder or aerobridge). Airlines are supposed to tally that everyone who is supposed to be on the plane has boarded,” said a source.
In 1982, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security had not been set up then) had made a rule that airline personnel will tear stub, or a part, of boarding card of passengers at aircraft entry point and keep the same. The idea was to reconcile that all flyers who had checked in and then left the terminal for the plane had actually boarded the same. And to look for missing passengers in case of any difference.