Australian national television has aired the footage of two pranksters who were able to get boarding calls for what appeared to be "Al Qaeda" and "Mr Terrorist" announced over the public address system at Sydney airport. They were slammed for having a "childish sense of humour" in the current security crisis by the airline they targetted.
Producers of Australian Broadcasting's (ABC) The Chaser's War on Everything satirical programme booked two tickets on a Wednesday flight to Melbourne with low-cost carrier Virgin Blue. The tickets were in the names of "Al Kyder" and "Mr Terry Wrist," New South Wales daily Sydney Morning Herald is reporting.
The e-ticket reference numbers were loaded into a self-serve kiosk that did not require identity proof and boarding cards (pictured below) were issued. Kyder and Wrist were among five passengers named in a final boarding call after Morrow failed to board the aircraft. Fellow travellers at Sydney's Kingsford Smith airport were reportedly alarmed at the names being called, with some assuming it was a coded call to security staff of an incident unfolding.
Julian Morrow, one of the show's presenters, explained that it was a analysis of passenger profiling theories.
Virgin Blue has called the stunt "puerile" and "childish humour" that was "not appropriate in the current security climate". It points out that no breach of security was made, adding that it was happy to receive A$282 ($217) of Australian taxpayers' money, as the ABC is state-funded.
The video of the stunt should appear in the browser window above, but please follow the following links to view "E-ticketing" from the ABC's website.