Just as her flight was about to take off, Vaishali Paranjpe realised that she had boarded the wrong flight.

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The goof-up probably happened because the boarding gates for the two flights were next to each other. File pic for representation
The goof-up probably happened because the boarding gates for the two flights were next to each other. File pic for representation

Paranjpe, who was to go to Jamnagar by Air India, instead boarded a flight to Coimbatore after going through the wrong boarding gate.

The goof-up probably happened because the boarding gates for the flights were next to each other. In spite of the mandatory security checks, it wasn’t airline staffers, but the passenger who realised what had happened.

The incident took place on December 17 when Paranjpe, who was to take Air India flight AI 647 for Jamnagar at 1.20 pm, boarded flight AI 637 to Coimbatore, which was to leave at 12, because boarding gates for both the flights were adjacent (40 and 41).

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Air India officials should have stopped her from boarding the wrong flight, since it is the airline’s responsibility to manage and keep an eye on its guests.

This is a major security lapse that cannot be ignored,” said a senior airport official.

Paranjpe realised that a mix-up had happened just before take off, as the flight was taxiing. After this, the aircraft had to return from the taxiway. The passenger was then transferred to her Jamnagar flight that took off on its scheduled time.

A senior airline official told mid-day, “Though it’s the passenger’s confusion that led to the security lapse, the airline’s fault cannot be denied. T2 is a huge terminal where not only a first timer, but also a frequent flier may get confused. This is one of the rare cases, but we have instructed our ground staff to be more careful while they are on duty.”