British Airways used this mocked-up image in an internal magazine to illustrate its new mobile-boarding pass system. Ooops. From Yahoo!:
So how did this happen? The short answer is that no one knows – or at least, no one's telling if they do. A British Airways spokeswoman told ABC News reporter Scott Mayerowitz that "a mistake has been made in this internal publication and we are working to find out how this occurred." And in response to a follow-up call from Yahoo! News, another spokeswoman for the airline remained firmly on message, saying, "We're still working to find out how this occurred at this time.""British Airways red-faced over faux image of Bin Laden boarding pass" (Thanks, Gabe Adiv!)
The gaffe could be the result of a tasteless prank that got out of hand – but current speculation is running toward the theory that it's the handiwork of a disgruntled employee. British Airways is currently locked in a labor dispute with the union representing its cabin-crew workers, and the strike has grounded flights for thousands of travelers in one of the busiest travel times of the year.
UPDATE: As pointed out in the comments, looks like the creator of that mock-up used this fake boarding pass generator linked to from BB in 2006!
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.