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¶ beating airport security (sort of)
situation: When I'm sending stacy off at the airport, it would be nice to extend the time we have together as much as possible. Saying goodbye at the security checkpoint just doesn't seem right, and it would be fantastic if I could wait at the gate with her until the boarding call when she actually gets on the plane.

note 1: Many airlines, such as JetBlue and Alaska Airlines, now offer the option to check-in online from home. This option is enabled 24 hours before the scheduled departure time, and lets travelers print their boarding passes from home.

note 2: Traditionally, there are three points in the air-travel process where ID and a boarding pass are required: the ticket counter for checkin, the security checkpoint, and the departure gate when boarding. Most departure gates only require the boarding pass, and do not check IDs.

solution: Restrict all travel to airlines that offer online checkin. Call the traveler Alice, and the companion (non-traveler) Bob. Bob wants to accompany Alice all the way to the departure gate but would normally be turned away at the security checkpoint. Instead, Alice checks in online shortly before her scheduled departure. Alice then makes a digital copy of her boarding pass and modifies it (using Photoshop or Gimp or whatever) so that it has Bob's name on the pass instead of her own. She then prints out both the original and the modified boarding passes. Bob now has what appears to be a valid boarding pass and can make it through the security checkpoint since the security officers only perform a cursory visual inspection to see that the name on the boarding pass matches the name on the presented ID. Bob can then accompany Alice through the checkpoint to the departure gate. Since they checked in online, they don't need to present their IDs to a ticketing agent. Also, since Bob does not try to board the plane, he doesn't need the boarding pass any longer.

notes: This is almost certainly illegal. This is a mental exercise only, and I don't actually recommend trying it.

corollary: With the use of a fake ID, it's possible to fly under a completely bogus name. Furthermore, it's possible to fly without a record of ever having traveled using that fake ID. Say you have a fake ID for the name Charlie. Purchase a plane ticket for the name David, and do the online checkin. Doctor the boarding pass so that it has the name Charlie and pass through security using the fake ID and the modified boarding pass. Destroy the modified boarding pass. Security checkpoints do not record the IDs used, so there will be no record of having passed through security using that pass. Travel with the unmodified boarding pass that has the name David on it. I'm not sure why you'd actually want to do this, but it's fun to think about...

Re: beating airport security (sort of)
Posted 15 years, 10 months ago by stacy • • Reply
Assume that there is another person called Mallory, who has eavesdropped on your plans to take stacy all the way to the gate and Mallory alerts all police units in Boston and Seattle and busts you...
Re: beating airport security (sort of)
Posted 15 years, 10 months ago by yoni • • Reply
1) everything is on camera these days 2) its almost a given that you're using a credit card to buy the ticket, leading to another papertrail. So you need to non-trivially scam that too. 3) ip- and email-logging (*.csail, etc)

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