Today, a flight from Philly to Boston was delayed, and an aircraft was replaced after a couple was discovered already onboard before the boarding process.
They were on the correct flight and in their correct seats. They just weren’t there at the correct time.
Officials said American Airlines Flight 1655 was slated to depart 8 a.m. Sunday, but two hours earlier, a man and woman walked on board through the doorway to the jet bridge and took their seats. The door should have been locked prior to the formal boarding process.
The couple did not speak English, which may have been part of the problem. I also think most of the blame goes to the gate crew there.
I could see how someone not familiar with the boarding process would board a plane if the door were open.
The American Airlines gates in Philly have big, clear signs that state the destination of the next flight leaving from the gate. If the door was open and no one was watching, it could look like permission to board.
After all, that’s how bus boarding is done. That’s also how ferry boarding is done. In those instances, having a sign with the destination on it and the door open means, “come on board!”
The lack of care regarding the gate door is a bit worrying–especially if a confused couple were able to board themselves.