Fake flyers


There’s a new breed of travelers spawned by online flight booking: fake flyers.

The fake flyer is not someone pretending to be a flight passenger and just hangs around in airport terminal lounges without actually boarding the plane and taking the flight to a destination. Instead, the fake flyer is a booked passenger pretending to be someone else or who is not the passenger that he or she claims to be.

Fake flyers are proliferating as some people are buying plane booking online by bulk which is cheap and then resell the booked flight to other travelers who are looking for cheap plane tickets.

The buyer is able to avail himself of bulk booking by putting fictitious names on many e-tickets. These e-tickets are then sold to other interested travelers. But for the buyer to assume or use the e-ticket, his or her name should match the fictitious name indicated on the ticket. So the original ticket buyer provides customers fake ID cards with names that match those on the e-ticket. The passenger shows the ID to the airline’s airport front liners to prove that he or she is the e-ticket holder before boarding the flight.

The Philippine Airlines (PAL) regards the practice as a scam and has taken steps to prevent it. In a social media post, PAL warned against buying tickets from such scammers, saying its front liners are trained in spotting fake ID.

PAL said those caught using fake ID will not only miss their flight but will also be criminally charged. The use of fake ID or using a fictitious name and concealing true name is a violation of Article 178 and Article 172 (falsification of public documents) under the Revised Penal Code.

X-ray machines and metal detectors at airport security checkpoints may not detect fake ID but PAL front liners know who are the real and bogus booked passengers. For those who will dare, they just need to keep in mind that fake flyers don’t fly on real planes.