I have a very common last name, but a very uncommon name overall–at least in the US.
So I haven’t run into many cases of mistaken identity with my name.
I had a curious incident on a flight last year. I’m reminded of it because I was on the same flight and same aircraft, and I was sitting in this same seat.
I was (and am) sitting in an aisle seat, which is my preference. Near the end of boarding, someone boarded and stood next to my seat expectantly. After a little, he said, do you want to scooch in to the window?
I get asked that relatively often and it annoys me. I don’t know if the people who say it think women automatically prefer the window or just believe they are more entitled to the aisle seat. Either way, I hold my ground pretty strongly.
I did the same thing in this case. I firmly (but nicely) said, no, I’ll get up.
And I did.
The passenger sat at the window and didn’t seem too pleased at me. He kept texting and the paranoid part of my brain wondered if he was complaining about me.
And then the person who the window seat belonged to arrived and, well, wanted her seat.
My seatmate pointed out that I was actually in his seat, and I firmly held my ground that I wasn’t and pulled out my boarding pass.
The passenger said that we must have been double booked and pulled out his boarding pass that said 2C. The Flight attendant was walking over at this point.
I glanced down at his boarding pass and noticed something familiar on it. Namely, my name.
It turns out I was currently seated next to John Hoffman. If you know the pronunciation of “Jeanne,” it is actually pretty similar. So I wonder if that had something to do with it.
He seemed embarrassed at that point, but I laughed out off so he did too (and he eventually got his own seat). But it made me wonder a few things.
First, how did he get my boarding pass on the first place? (note: the entire plot of an episode of Murder She Wrote revolves around this premise). Though, I was handed someone else’s boarding pass before too.
Second, how did he not notice? I wonder if he was in a rush and/or just dealt with a cancelation in a hurry.
Third, why wasn’t this caught when scanning his boarding pass? It would have alerted the agent that I already boarded.
But ultimately, it worked out fine. We both were going to the same destination, so it was good that he didn’t get on the wrong flight! I think we just happened to suffer from having very similar names.