Thursday 18 January 2018

Alex Salmond tried to board plane as Star Trek's Captain Kirk

The former Scottish First Minister booked a seat under the name James T Kirk but BA staff at Heathrow refused to let him on

Scotland's former First Minister Alex Salmond
Scotland's former First Minister Alex Salmond

Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor

ALEX SALMOND was turned away from a British Airways flight to Scotland after attempting to board using the alias of Star Trek's Captain Kirk, it has emerged.

The former Scottish First Minister booked a seat under the name James T Kirk but BA staff at Heathrow refused to let him on.

They noticed the pseudonym did not match the name on his passport and only after a series of frantic calls by Mr Salmond did he manage to persuade them he was not an imposter and to let him board.

The former SNP leader told the Mail on Sunday that he often travelled under a false name for security reasons and he liked to use Captain Kirk's name as he is an avid Star Trek fan.

He said: "It was all sorted out. I just wanted BA to Beam me up, Scotty."

However, it was not clear why his safety would be endangered if the airline's staff knew he would be on the flight.

The bizarre stand-off took place over the summer after the Gordon MP tried to fly back to Scotland after a week at the Commons.

It is understood he normally travels from Gatwick or London City airports, where staff are aware of his alias.

However, a source told the Mail on Sunday things did not go smoothly when he arrived at a check-in desk at Heathrow and presented a ticket with James T Kirk written on it.

"He handed over his passport with his real name on it. Unsurprisingly, the woman on the desk refused to check him in," the source said.

"As the queue built up and other staff members came over, Mr Salmond made calls to arrange for emails to be sent to him, which he showed to BA, backing up his story. Eventually they let him on the plane."

It is understood Mr Salmond has been using the name of the character, played by William Shatner, for years for security reasons to avoid alerting people to his presence in advance.

Since resigning as First Minister in the wake of his independence referendum defeat last year, he no longer has protection officers who could explain the ruse to confused airline staff.

He has previously admitted to a lifelong "obsessive" love of Star Trek and the show's fan club has awarded him a 'Membership of Distinction'.

Referring to one of the Star Trek film titles, he last year claimed during the independence referendum that the "wrath of Khan" would be nothing compared to the anger of Scottish voters tricked by Westminster.

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