Lewis J. Gould suspected trouble when he printed out his boarding pass for a Delta flight booked through Expedia, and saw that it listed his name as "Use Profile of Lewis J Gould."
Gould, 89, was planning to travel from his home in Saginaw, Mich., to Phoenix, for his brother's 100th birthday.
"The minute the woman checking me in (at security) went to find another officer, I knew I had a problem," Gould recalled. "She looked at the name on my driver's license which reads "Lewis John Gould," and looked at my boarding pass and said, "You can't fly with that."
The officer sent Gould to the Delta ticket counter where Gould said an agent told him that "Expedia was the only one who could change it."
Frustrated and afraid he'd miss his brother's party, he drove back home, called Delta reservations, and bought a new ticket for a flight later that day. It cost him $789, $300 more than his original fare.
Gould made it to the party, albeit with two tickets billed to his credit card.
How an obvious computer error escalated into a security breach that caused so much trouble for an 89-year-old man is baffling, but it happened, and it could happen to anyone as the Transportation Security Administration tightens its boarding-pass review process. Read about it in my Sunday Travel Wise column for The Seattle Times.