Airline Gives Osama Bin Laden a Boarding Pass

British Airways features al Qaeda leader's name in Heathrow Airport magazine.

June 1, 2010, 10:56 AM

June 1, 2010 — -- The name of international terrorist and fugitive Al Qaeda boss Osama Bin Laden has surfaced in an unlikely spot, and apparently he's flying British Airways first class to Washington.

It seems that somebody in London with a bad sense of humor is causing the U.K. airline a bit of a headache after inserting a graphic of a boarding pass bearing bin Laden's name into a company-run magazine.

A cover story in LHR News -- a British Airways staff magazine covering London's Heathrow Airport -- about a new service allowing passengers to download paperless boarding passes to their iPhones includes close-up cover photo a white boarding pass emblazoned with the name "Bin Laden/Osama."

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Apparently bin Laden likes to fly -- or at least knows the value of loyalty -- because the boarding pass features a frequent flier number. And don't worry about his leg room. The world's most-wanted man is apparently flying pretty up in first class, seat 7C.

It is unclear how the name of the leader of al Qaeda, the organization responsible for enlisting the Sept. 11 hijackers to steal commercial planes, got on the faux British Airways boarding pass. The company acknowledged that the magazine graphic was a mistake and said it is investigating its source.

"A mistake has been made in this internal publication and we are working to find out how this occurred," spokeswoman Michele Kropf told ABC News.

Bin Laden Boarding Pass In British Airways Mag

British Airways is currently in the middle of a prolonged labor dispute with some of its unions, and some travel bloggers have speculated that the insertion of bin Laden's name may have been a prank by a disgruntled employee or former employee.

"You would think they would know better," said John DiScala, a blogger known as Johnny Jet. "Someone who worked there was obviously leaving the company or they were not thinking."

"It has to be a disgruntled employee. That person is an idiot," DiScala added. "What's wrong with John Doe or Joe Smith? They could have even put the queen's name on there. That would have at least been funny. There's nothing funny about Osama Bin Laden."