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Airline that flew British man home on his friend's passport insists 'safety was never compromised'

‘This is an undesirable, but exceptional situation,’ said the Dutch airline after flying a man from Prague via Amsterdam to Newcastle with someone else’s passport

KLM and border officials let man travel on his friend's passport

The Dutch airline KLM insists that “the safety of passengers and crew has never been compromised” after it flew a British man with someone else’s passport from Prague via Amsterdam to Newcastle.

Allan Poole inadvertently made the journey with a passport belonging to his friend, Steve Vincent. The documents were mixed up when they were checking in to their accommodation.

Mr Poole went through four airport checks with his friend’s passport: the first leaving Prague, then a frontier and boarding-gate check at Amsterdam airport, and finally UK Border Force staff at Newcastle airport.

A KLM spokesperson told The Independent: “In Prague, two passengers accidentally exchanged their passports. One of them flew from Prague to Newcastle via Amsterdam, without it being noticed at the various airports that he was travelling on someone else’s passport.

“KLM works with competent authorities to ensure that the aircraft, passengers and crew are safe and secure during flight.

“Although this is an undesirable, but exceptional situation, the passenger went through all security checks. The safety of passengers and crew has never been compromised.”

The Dutch airline was criticised by Mr Vincent, who had to stay on for an extra day to obtain, with considerable hassle and expense, an emergency passport.

When the stranded passenger finally landed back in Britain on Wednesday, he tweeted: “Made it back to Blighty, no thanks at all to @KLM who caused the problem.”

KLM’s terms state: “The Carriage service is only provided to the Passengers named on the Ticket. The Carrier reserves the right to check the identity documents of the Passengers.

“Passengers must therefore be able to provide the Carrier with proof of their identity.”

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