A dark-haired man flew from London to Germany using his blonde girlfriend’s passport that he had picked up by mistake.
Meet Michael Randall. He’s a 24-year-old McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team technician. He’s currently dating 34-year-old Charlotte Bull, with whom he lives. Here’s a picture of them together.
Cute couple, right?
Quick question: did you notice they don’t look anything alike? The answer to that last question might be self-evident. But after everything that happened, it does deserve to be pointed out.
After returning home from a holiday in France with Bull, Randall left for a trip to Berlin to see a motorbike race. He grabbed his passport, boarded an easyJet flight at Gatwick Airport in south-east England, and disembarked in Germany. It’s only then that he noticed his mistake: he had accidentally grabbed Bull’s passport.
As he told the Sunday People:
“The first I knew something was wrong was when I arrived at Berlin airport. I thought honesty was the best policy so I went and told security.
“They pulled me aside and made me wait for the whole plane to disembark. At first I thought they were going to confiscate Charlotte’s passport.”
But they didn’t.
After undergoing a 90-minute grilling session from “quite aggressive” immigration officials, Randall received a one-day travel pass that allowed him to stay in Berlin. He subsequently alerted a colleague who was also traveling to Berlin to see the same race about the incident. That individual brought over Randall’s correct passport so that he wouldn’t need to leave the country early.
Bull was surprised to hear of the fiasco:
“It was a terrible breach of security, even more so considering how scary current times are.
“We mixed up the passports while unpacking, which was our fault. But there has been a massive error by the airline.”
Take Ryanair, for instance.
In February 2016, a 6’3″ bouncer named Josh Reed flew from London’s Stansted Airport to Dortmund, Germany by accidentally using his small brunette girlfriend’s passport. A spokesperson for the airline had this to say to The Daily Mail:
“Our handling agent at the boarding gate mistakenly failed to check the passport of this passenger, and Swissport have assured us that appropriate steps will be taken to prevent a recurrence.
“However, it is Mr Reed’s primary responsibility to ensure that he is travelling on his valid passport in compliance with Ryanair’s terms and conditions.”
Ryanair is right… assuming there’s no one with malicious intent who’s ever boarded an airplane. Passengers can just as easily create fake passports to get somewhere where law enforcement and intelligence officials might not want them to go.
(Incidentally, they can also use those forged documents to hack people’s Facebook accounts.)
It’s therefore up to airport security to serve as the first line of defense in making sure everyone who boards a plane is who they say they are. Those holding that line should be skeptical of EVERYONE and wait to be proven otherwise by correct documentation.