Man sneaks aboard Nok Air flight

Nok Air chief executive Patee Sararin has apologised for a security blunder that allowed a stranger to board a plane at Hat Yai airport.

  • Published: 7/04/2014 at 02:05 AM
  • Newspaper section: news

“Nok Air apologises for what happened at Hat Yai,” he said on Twitter yesterday, admitting that a stranger had been able to board a plane. He also thanked the airline’s crew for apprehending the man.

The incident came to light after a Pantip used called “Puanholy’’ described how a friend’s flight on Nok Air had been delayed for an hour due to an additional passenger being detected in the cabin.

“Puanholy’’ posted the information online on Saturday night, and said that the flight was originally scheduled to depart Hat Yai at 11.15am.

Nok Air flight DD7105 is a daily service that leaves the southern city at 11.15am and arrives at Don Mueang airport at 12.40pm, according to its website.

The Pantip posting said an unidentified man entered the cabin and demanded the seat closest to the cockpit, which was already occupied. When a member of staff asked to see his ID, the man said he did not have it on him, since it was packed in luggage already loaded onto the plane.

Staff checked the passenger list and found no record of the man. They then asked all passengers to return to the airport to repeat the boarding process for the flight, while a security official took the man away.

The Pantip post said that around 20 passengers demanded to be transferred onto alternative flights, citing security concerns.

The post was shared widely on social media and prompted a passenger to contact the airport’s security unit to inquire about the incident, but officials said they were not aware of the problem.

Nok Air later apologised for the security breach on its Facebook page.

“An error was discovered in our check-in process at Hat Yai International Airport,’’ the statement said. “We apologise for any inconvenience caused to passengers. Safety is our top priority. We took the necessary action to reaffirm our commitment to the highest standards of safety.”

The airline added that it is conducting an investigation into the matter, the findings of which will be made public in due course.

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