After the recent embarrassment of having sent three passengers to Turkey instead of Lanzarote following a check-in blunder by Servisair, there is yet more bad press for Cardiff airport.
In this day and age of heightened security and technological advances, it may seem extraordinary that a passenger can travel on the wrong passport. However, that is exactly what happened to a woman flying out to the Canaries on holiday last month.
Andrea Cole, aged 43, was flying out with her mother for a break at her holiday home in Fuerteventura and erroneously picked up her husband’s passport. She succeeded in clearing two lots of check points at Cardiff and another when she reached her destination without being challenged once. The immigration officer at Fuerteventura took the passport from Mrs Cole, looked at the photo and at her, and waved her through.
According to a spokesperson from Cardiff airport, Servisair – the handling agent for Thomas Cook – would have had responsibility for checking the passports both on check-in and prior to getting on to the plane. An investigation is now under way and both Thomas Cook and Servisair have apologised for the apparent breach in security, assuring the public that security is a top priority.
Meanwhile, a holiday maker leaving her hotel in Turkey was given the wrong passport by hotel staff but nevertheless managed to leave Turkey and enter the UK at Manchester airport without the error being noticed. Both the airline and the UK Border Agency have expressed concerns that this could happen and an investigation is under way.