Woman beats security check, uses husband’s passport to fly 4,200 miles
Published Tue, May 1st 2018 at 10:07, Updated May 1st 2018 at 10:12 GMT +3
A woman was able to leave the country and fly 4,200 miles from Manchester to India – with her husband’s passport.
Geeta Modha didn’t notice when she accidentally picked up her partner Dilip’s passport while rushing to the airport for a business trip.
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The 55-year-old showed it at check-in and again before boarding the Emirates plane.
And was even able to sail through customs without a glitch, she says.
During a stop-off in Dubai, Geeta didn’t have to show her passport because she has an Overseas Citizenship of India card.
The error was only picked up at the airport in Delhi, where she noticed her blunder while filling out an immigration form, the Manchester Evening News reports.
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Geeta, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, said: “It’s scary and worrying that people aren’t checking properly.
“The fact they say they are so strict on security in airports but you can do this in 2018 is terrible.
“At check-in, the staff member even made me move stuff from one bag to another because it was 2kg over – and yet let me travel with the wrong passport.”
Indian officials made Geeta travel back to Dubai to wait for her own passport, which was flown to her by Emirates.
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She said the experience had left her concerned that passengers could potentially fly overseas without valid checks.
Frequent flyer and mum of two Geeta, who is still in India, said if the error had been flagged at check-in she would have had time to ask someone to bring her own passport to the terminal.
She added: “They only looked at my surname – not at my first name or the picture. If I got through who else could get through?”
In the end, Geeta’s son Sagar, 32, had to take her passport to the airport so Emirates could get it to her.
He said: “At one point we were looking at flights to see if we had to fly out to her in Dubai.
“I was so worried and stressed for her. I am appalled that in this day and age someone can get to a country as far away as India with the wrong passport.”
Manchester Airport said it is the responsibility of airline staff to ensure passports are checked.
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A spokesman for Emirates said: “Like all airlines, we work closely with our airport handlers to ensure that all regulations relating to passport checks is taken very seriously. In this instance our usual high standards were not followed and we would like to apologise to Ms Modha.
“The airport handlers ensure that ongoing training is provided to all staff so that they are kept updated with all regulations and security procedures.
“We are currently investigating how this incident occurred and are working closely with them to ensure that all training materials are properly reviewed and full retraining is provided for the staff involved.”