British Airways says oops to fake bin Laden boarding pass

LHR News

British Airways say a mockup in an employee magazine that shows a boarding pass with Osama bin Laden's name on it is "no laughing matter."

The fake boarding pass appeared in an internal publication for BA staff at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.

In a prepared statement, BA said the photograph had been downloaded from an internet image gallery in 2008, because "an image of a boarding pass was required to support the development of an aviation-related image library. Unfortunately the details of the boarding pass were not noted."

The statement further says "The image was not created by British Airways and had never been used by us before."

According to the Daily Mail, which first noticed the oddity, the boarding pass printed with "Bin Laden/Osama" under a bar code, was used in the airline's magazine LHR News, to accompany a story on BA's plan to make boarding passes accessible on mobile phones. Our friends at Gadling report that according to the boarding pass, Mr. Bin Laden flies in First class, and has a frequent flier number with Northwest Airlines.

The paper says a front-page picture in the employee magazine shows a man checking in with his phone and in the foreground is someone else's phone with a pass showing bin Laden's name. The pass shows a date, Oct. 26, 2010.

In its statement, BA says it is "deeply sorry" that the image was not further scrutinized. "We understand the offense this may have caused and apologize sincerely for it."

A BA spokesman told AOL Travel the publication of the bin Laden boarding pass is not being interpreted as any sort of threat. What kind of effect will this "discovery" have on the anti-terror organizations of the world? Our friends at Gadling wonder whether the brilliant minds behind our anti-terrorism campaigns will raise the terror level to "red hot" on October 26, 2010 while airport police around the world try to figure out which airport the world's most wanted terrorist will be flying to.
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