It seems that the number of passengers boarding wrong flights at the Mumbai airport is on the increase. But this time, the passenger boarded the wrong flight, but of the same airline and to the same city he was to travel to. An Indian passenger, who was to travel by Cathay Pacific’s flight 660, wrongly boarded CX 696 for Hong Kong on Saturday night. This is the third such incident in past four months that raises security concerns at the city airport.
On March 5, the passenger wrongly boarded the flight that departs at around 12.45 am from Mumbai instead of the one for Hong Kong that takes off at around 1.25 am. The incident took place when the passenger, GP Reddy, boarded the wrong aircraft at around 11.55 pm on Saturday night at boarding gate number 78. “The passenger would have taken off in the aircraft as he did not understand the difference between the two flights,” said a senior airport official. “According to him he knew it was the same airline that he was booked on. It was only when an airline official realised the mistake that the airline officials got into action,” he added.
The passenger who had settled in the aircraft was then approached and informed about the mistake. The passenger was then deboarded from the Airbus A330-300 (twin-jet). Reddy then boarded the aircraft he was booked on. The flight CX 696, due to this shift, was delayed for 79 minutes.
But this isn’t the first such case of a passenger boarding the wrong flight. “Increasing number of such cases is not a good sign as it raises security arrangements at the Mumbai airport. The airline is solely responsible for any kind of such mistakes,” explained an MIAL official.
The other side
Commenting on the incident, Charlie Stewart-Cox, General Manager South Asia, Middle East & Africa Cathay Pacific Airways said, "We confirm that a passenger booked to travel on CX660 on March 6 from Mumbai to Hong Kong, was incorrectly boarded on flight CX 696 that was departing an hour earlier from Mumbai to Hong Kong. Our ground staff realised the same immediately and the passenger was deplaned. This process did not cause any further delay to the departure of flight CX696 as this flight was already delayed due to late arrival of the incoming aircraft."
February 4: Air India passenger, C N Anchan, who was supposed to fly by AI 679 to Bangalore, wrongly boarded flight AI 651 that was going from Mumbai to Raipur.
>> December 24, 2015: Vaishali Paranjpe was to go to Jamnagar by Air India, instead she boarded a flight to Coimbatore after going through the wrong boarding gate.
>> July 14, 2015: Kashmiri Lal, a 39-year-old resident of a village in Jalandhar, had landed in Colombo instead of Kuwait. Lal, a mason, arrived at T2 on July 14 from Delhi. He went to flight 9W 252 to Colombo, because both aircraft were parked at the same aerobridge.
On Friday, March 4, after a medical emergency declared by the pilot of an Ethiopian Airlines, the flight landed at Mumbai airport. The flight, ET 640 had arrived from Addis Ababa. The on duty MIAL doctors were rushed to the aerobridge at T2. The doctor immediately attended to the female passenger. She however was declared dead by the doctors. The female passenger Diankenda Mayimona was a 68-year-old, Congo national.