Anyone on social media likely followed model Chrissy Teigen's bizarre attempted flight aboard All Nippon Airways from Los Angeles to Tokyo. Four hours into the 11-hour flight, however, as Teigen kept her followers aware, pilots announced that they were carrying a passenger who wasn't meant to be onboard, and that they were turning around to return to Los Angeles.
a flying first for me: 4 hours into an 11 hour flight and we are turning around because we have a passenger who isn’t supposed to be on this plane. Why...why do we all gotta go back, I do not know— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 27, 2017
The passenger in question, who was traveling with his brother, had a boarding pass for a flight to Tokyo but with United Airlines, Mike England a Transportation Security Administration spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times. The brother also had an incorrect boarding pass; however it was for another ANA flight. What's to note, is that United Airlines does not operate out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, where ANA flies. The Los Angeles Times also reported that the FBI interviewed the two brothers, along with several other passengers, but no arrests have been made. An investigation is ongoing.
After returning to Los Angeles, Teigan, who was with her husband, singer John Legend, and not entirely aware of the situation at the time, tweeted that she had been moved to a separate room than other passengers. This followed a tweet saying that their plane was located in a secure area and the passengers couldn't "be near common folk."
I have been moved to a room with Bravo. Clearly the authorities are trying to keep me quiet so I don’t BLOW THE LID OFF THIS “SITCH” pic.twitter.com/ohhpCmjviG— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 27, 2017
In a tweet during the incident, ANA said: "We apologize to all of our passengers on Flight 175; we failed to deliver the customer service we strive for. Thank you all for your comments and allowing us to connect, learn and serve you better. We welcome ongoing feedback to understand how we can work to make this right."
Later, the airline released a statement saying, “At the time during the flight, the pilot in command was presented with information about the discrepancy in the passenger manifest. Based on the available information in flight, he made the correct decision to return to LAX. ANA supports the decision of the pilot, out of the abundance of caution and safety for the passengers and crew onboard.”
Several experts expressed concern over the entire event and how it was handled.
According to CBS News, Denny Kelly, a former airline captain, said the plane should have landed at the nearest airport and solved the issue as soon as possible.
"To spend four hours flying back to Los Angeles with the guy on the airplane you don't really know what's going on, that's not the safest way to go," Kelly said. "It messed a bunch of things up and didn't hurt anybody. But it could've."
And according to Travel + Leisure, Jeffrey Price, a professor in the Aviation Department at the Metropolitan State University of Denver said "It’s almost unheard of to turn back unless there’s some security or safety related reason for it. I think in this case there’s got to be a security-related link."
Both Teigan and Price brought up the fact that unless it were a serious issue, there was no reason why 200-plus passengers should have to suffer for one traveler's mistake.
Why did we all get punished for this one person’s mistake? Why not just land in Tokyo and send the other person back? How is this the better idea, you ask? We all have the same questions.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 27, 2017
Price added, "If you’re on the wrong plane, and somehow they figure that out halfway through or you figure it out, well you’re going to wherever that plane is going to land. And then they’re going to rebook you once you get there."
Passengers eventually boarded another and the flight arrived in Tokyo without another incident.
We are HERE!— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 27, 2017