Anonymous
Anonymous asked in TravelAir Travel · 5 years ago

Can you sneak onto a different plane?

I'm writing a short story where a woman doesn't have a passport, so she buys a plane ticket to California, then sneaks onto a plane to China. This is only a part of the story. Is this possible to perform? Thank you.

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  • Daniel
    Lv 7
    5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Possible, but very difficult to execute.

    Most airlines scan barcodes on boarding passes at the gate. There are however, some foreign airlines that use the older two part boarding passes that you can tear in two. That has its own issue, because your character would then have to have one of those types of boarding passes, probably from a different US carrier, in order to sneak on the plane.

    I think just about every international flight I have been on required me to re-show my passport to the gate agent, because the airline doesn't want to get stuck with flying me home. I can't guarantee that every international flight I have been on was like that though, so you could conceivably get away with there not being a passport re-check at the gate.

    So, in order for this scenario to work here is what would have to happen:

    Option 1: Your character simply slips through with the crowd and walks down the jetway without the gate agent knowing. Very low probability of this, but there have been a couple examples of stow-aways in the news in the last year or so. Your character would also have to slip by the flight attendants at the door. Because many airline passengers seem to not know where their seat is, flight attendants on most international flights on wide-bodies will usually re-check the boarding pass at the door to make sure the passenger knows which aisle to go down, and whether they need to go towards the front or back of the plane (for planes that board at a mid-door).

    Option 2: Your passenger happens to have one of the older rip-style boarding passes to CA, which this airline also happens to be using and the gate agent doesn't realize it is for the wrong flight.

    Either way, your character would also need to be getting on a flight that isn't full and stand around somewhere out of the way on the plane until everyone boards so that she can jump in an empty seat. If she were to sit down right away, the person assigned to that seat might start making a scene, which would alert the crew that she is a stow-away.

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  • 5 years ago

    Most airlines now scan the barcodes on the tickets before they are allowed onto the moving jetway. Then sometimes there are more flight attendants at the doors to show you where your seat is. It may be possible to sneak through but it would be very hard. Also if they don't have a passport then they won't get through border control at the other side which is nearly impossible to sneak by.

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  • 5 years ago

    She has a boarding pass for domestic travel and I'm assuming at least some ID such as a driver's license so getting through security won't be an issue. Plus a number of airports have it configured where the domestic and international boarding areas are interconnected (such as the one I work at.)

    Without a passport and a valid boarding pass for that country, it would be extremely difficult to get onto an international flight.

    Source(s): Work part-time at an airport.
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    • Daniel
      Lv 7
      5 years agoReport

      AJ--I usually have to show my passport to the gate agent for international flights.

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  • 5 years ago

    Domestic and international flights often leave from separate terminals. If the flights did depart from the same terminal, the passenger's passport and boarding pass are always checked at the gate. Cabin crew will also have a passenger list to confirm the number of people that should be on the plane.

    Even if she did make it onto the flight, she would need to show a pre-approved visa at the airport in China. She would not get one on arrival and would be sent straight back to the US without one. Sorry.

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  • K
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    Wow, what a load of ignorance.

    Okay. First, domestic and international flights are often in completely SEPARATE terminals. Second, to even go through security at the international terminal you have to have your boarding pass and passport - they won't let you even join the line if you do not have a boarding pass for an international flight. Pretty sure even the most tired security officer would still be able to tell the difference between a city in California and a city in China.

    Third, you have to then fill out a special card saying where you're going and so on, and go through the immigration officers, all of whom will demand to see your passport, all of whom will definitely know the difference between California and China.

    Then, when boarding the plane, you are again required to show your boarding pass and passport, and when you get into the actual plane, you show your boarding pass again.

    Do know ANYTHING about how flying works? What you are describing is IMPOSSIBLE.

    Why doesn't your character just get a passport? It's not like it's hard.

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    • Daniel
      Lv 7
      5 years agoReport

      Actually AJ, you usually have to show your passport at the gate in the US for an international flight, because they want to make sure they aren't going to have to pay to fly you right back home.

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  • 5 years ago

    I would not say that it is impossible, but it would be incredibly unlikely.

    I have flown to China several times. Your ticket is checked when you go through security, and as domestic and international flights are usually in different parts of the airport that would be the first time you would have to make it through with the wrong ticket. Then, the gate agent checks your ticket when you board. You would have to make it through with the wrong ticket there, too. Once on board, the flight attendants tally the number of passengers to make sure the number on board matches the number of ticketed passengers that checked in for the flight and then went through the gate. If there were a discrepancy the flight would not leave until they figured it out.

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    Not gonna happen

    Needs a boarding pass that is checked at least three times, passport is also checked three times

    Domestic flights and international flights leave from different terminals

    Outside of movies and novels it is impossible

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  • Bill
    Lv 6
    5 years ago

    No, because the airline checks your passport when you board the plane. When your character gets to China, she will not be allowed in, either.

    However, it's fiction so I say make something plausible up and go for it.

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    For an international flight, it maybe a little more difficult but I guess it can happen.

    And for those who are saying that no one can ever get passed TSA, there was news about the serial stow away lady earlier this year. http://abcnews.go.com/US/serial-stowaway-marilyn-j...

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  • AJ
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    Could never happen. Every person has to have their boarding pass scanned at the gate. So if her boarding pass isn't for that particular flight, she is not getting on that flight.

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