The Black Widows who killed 90 people when they blew up two Russian airliners in August this year got onto the planes by buying last minute tickets from ticket scalpers.
The Russian government, not to mention the airlines, have vowed to stamp down on the practice but, as Lyndon at Scraps of Moscow reports, their proclamations have so far had little practical effect. He was bumped off a flight to St Petersburg by a Transaero rep, despite arriving just in time for his flight:
the Transaero rep had closed check-in at the officially mandated cutoff of 40 minutes before the flight in order to sell my ticket (and my fellow traveler’s, as it turned out – he had been stuck on a delayed connecting flight) to people on standby, and then when I showed up they didn’t want to hear anything about my desire to get on the plane. I found even more disgusting the fact that to conceal their thieving they referred to new, strict airport procedures supposedly in effect since the terrorist bombings of two planes that took off from Domodedovo earlier in 2004. If I can help it, I will never fly that airline again.
Earlier this year I noted that, with the lack of security at Russian airports, it was a miracle that no-one had hijacked or blown up any Russian planes before this August. Given what Lyndon says, it’s a miracle no-one has blown up any since this August, too.