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Disguised Passenger Boards Plane, Changes Face

SmarterTravel

File this one under very, very bizarre. The Vancouver Sun reports on an incident that took place October 29 on an Air Canada flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver. A young Asian man was able to board the plane disguised as an elderly Caucasian man, and then removed the disguise several hours into the flight.

This was no powdered hair and drawn-on wrinkles disguise, either. According to the Sun, this guy had a full “silicone-type head and neck mask … a brown leather cap, glasses and a thin brown cardigan,” and even affected the movements of an elderly person. The link above includes a photo, in case you’re curious to see what he looked like.

The man was stopped at the airport in Vancouver, where he made a claim for refugee protection, and is being held pending an immigration and refugee hearing.

In this age of heightened security, and, at least in the U.S., new full-body scanners and enhanced patdowns, this is an unusual twist. Worldwide security concerns primarily focus on bringing illicit and dangerous objects onto planes, but this is a case of someone sneaking not an item, but himself, onto a plane. And yes, while most check-in processes include identification checks, as do airport security screenings, in this instance, someone wasn’t looking critically enough at that weathered face.

What do you think—will face checks be the new frontier of “enhanced patdowns”?

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