In reality, the level of diligence in checking passengers’ documents is determined by the airline, not the machine. As prominent aviation blogger Gary Leff once pointed out on his blog View From the Wing, many domestic American airlines only check boarding passes at entrance to the jet bridge, not at the aircraft door as well, which leaves more room for error.

Mystery still looms over what went wrong on the ANA flight—and Teigen is not done demanding answers. But the lesson is clear: There are less fail-safes standing between you and the wrong destination than you think.

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