A few days ago, I wrote about All Nippon Airways flight 175 that was diverted back to Los Angeles International Airport after discovering an unauthorized passenger. When this initially unfolded, there were many questions surrounding the situation: Was this part of a bigger plot? Was this a mistake by gate agents? Was this the case of a drunken passenger boarding the wrong aircraft? Did the flight attendants miscount passengers? Was there more than one party involved?
I assumed (incorrectly) that this was a mistake. I did not know by who, all I could do was speculate. We now know what caused the plane to return to LAX. According to ABC News:
The FBI is weighing criminal charges against two brothers who got on a Tokyo-bound flight together in Los Angeles allegedly using a single boarding pass, forcing the plane to turn around mid-flight.
The brothers, who have nearly identical names, were able to board the ANA flight together by apparently using a duplicate boarding pass, the sources said. It’s unclear how the brother with a United Airlines ticket found a seat on the plane. Their identities have not been revealed, other than being male American citizens.
FBI agents told ABC News on Wednesday night that they aren’t in a position to arrest anyone or press charges yet, but the investigation is ongoing. If investigators determine there was intent to board the incorrect flight, one of the brothers could be accused of being a stowaway, which is a federal crime and punishable up to five years in prison.
Meanwhile, the airline could face hefty fines from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for allowing the passenger on board and failing to make an accurate headcount.
Personally, I feel like the brothers should be charged. What they thought was an ingenious way for them to travel to Tokyo on the same flight has spiraled into a huge international incident. If I were ANA, I would ban them from them for life.
featured image courtesy of airplane-pictures.net