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Jetstar probes boarding pass blunder that led to 5-hour delay

written by Jake Nelson | May 15, 2023

Victor Pody shot aircraft including this Jetstar A320-200, VH-VFO

Jetstar has launched an investigation into how a man was able to board a flight without a valid boarding pass, delaying it for more than five hours last week.

All passengers on flight JQ785 from the Sunshine Coast to Sydney last Tuesday, 9 May were forced to deplane following 45 minutes on the tarmac, check in again, and pass through security a second time after the man, believed to be between age 18 and 25, boarded the A320-200 without a ticket having somehow passed unhindered through two security checks.

The man was found sitting in another passenger’s seat, and told flight attendants he had left his boarding pass outside the plane. JQ785 – slated to take off at 12:15pm – was delayed by five and a half hours due to the incident, eventually departing at 5:45pm and landing in Sydney at 7:04.

In a statement, Jetstar said it is looking into how the man was allowed to board the flight despite not having a ticket.

“We have strict procedures to ensure all customers have a valid boarding pass for our flights and we have launched an urgent investigation into the situation,” the airline said.


“The individual was removed from the aircraft prior to departure and all customers were re-screened as a precaution, which resulted in the flight being delayed. We sincerely apologise to customers for the impact to their journey.”

Kate McCreery-Carr, general operations manager at Sunshine Coast Airport, told media that the airport had followed all security procedures and the man had not been carrying any weapons or dangerous items.

“Airlines manage the checking and monitoring of passengers when boarding their aircraft, and Sunshine Coast Airport is liaising with Jetstar regarding the incident,” she said.

“All passengers and members of the public are required to clear airport security prior to entering the departures hall. Our process includes the screening of passengers, their belongings and explosive trace detection.”

The man was later identified through CCTV footage and is understood to be helping Queensland Police with their enquiries.

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