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There was a major security breach on LAN Flight 2442 on August 20, 2015 from Iguacu, Brazil (IGU) to Lima, Peru (LIM). How do I know that? Because, I am fairly certain that I was squarely in the middle of the breach.
The entire process was a comedy of errors, though neither Won’t Run nor I were laughing about it at the time.
Earlier that day, we were a bit proud that we had packed our bags and arrived at the airport on time. So too, we had checked-in for our flight online and printed out our boarding passes at our hotel. So, when we arrived at the airport, we walked past the unwieldy line at the LAN counter and proceeded directly to the security check in. That was our first mistake. We were sent back to the LAN line to check in. Now of course we were at the back of the line (except for the guy behind us who I decided was a terrorist). We got to the front, and the agent had a problem with my documents because the boarding pass and itinerary said KAT and my passport says KATHY. Thankfully, we cleared that up, and we went (back) to the security line.
Given the name-on-the-ticket snafu, I was a little scared that I’d get chosen for a search, but I passed through security and passport control without an issue. The same cannot be said for Won’t Run. They went thru his bags a few times, sent the bags back thru the machines, and eventually gave him the green light. Won’t Run was baffled (interpreted, pissed) as he thought he’d done everything right.
We then went to the holding room for LAN flight 2442. A few minutes later, they announced the flight was ready for boarding. They then opened the door and We were led outside and walked inside a yellow line next to the building. We followed the less-then-orderly line and were surprised to be led back in to the building thru another door. Something seemed not quite right. We were being shooed along with the crowd. We asked an agent if this was the right way.
Actually, we asked three agents along the way and each (probably not understanding English) just nodded and directed us further into the building. I then saw the baggage carousels in front of us. Holy shit- that’s when it dawned on me – we were somehow in the Arrival Hall!
I realized that when we were following the crowd to the plane, we must have gotten mixed up and followed the wrong group- a bunch of passengers who’d just arrived on another flight. Holy shit!
Won’t Run was trying to talk to one of the agents but I grabbed him and pulled him away and we started running in the opposite direction! We ran back out the door of the arrivals room, back outside on the tarmac! No one stopped us at the door as we ran out! Now we were on the tarmac on our own and running. We saw a LAN plane with people still boarding. It was our plane and we boarded.
We were in shock thinking about what had just occurred. First, the airport had sent passengers outside the building to board a plane. Second, neither LAN nor the airport personnel properly supervised or directed the group toward the plane. Third, as a result, we became confused and followed a group of arriving passengers into the airport instead of departing passengers to our plane. Fourth, in the arrivals hall, no one helped us, but continued to push us further into the building. Fifth, when we realized what happened, we ran past all of the agents, back outdoors onto the tarmac and got on a plane.
And no one even blinked!
My question is: How many security breaches had just occurred?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.