Man Dresses Up As Lufthansa Pilot To Escape Long Airport Queues

With all the CCTV, sophisticated IDs, and online media around these days, channeling Frank Abagnale is a tough ask in 2019. But a gentleman from Delhi gave it a red hot go earlier this week when he slipped on a pilot’s uniform and fast-tracked himself through Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. It turns out it wasn’t the first time he’d done this. Alas, this time he was pinched at the departure gate. 

If you are going to try to pass yourself off as a pilot, don’t do it on AirAsia. Photo: Airbus

Rajan Mahbubani (48) of Vasant Kunj in Delhi, India, was wearing a Lufthansa pilot’s uniform when he passed through Delhi Airport on Monday, November 18, 2019. He looks pretty smooth with his captain’s bars and the full sunglasses in the pocket action.

Rajan Mahbubani rocking his four gold bars. Photo: ANI via Twitter

Our man in question styles himself as Dr on Twitter and quotes the guru of 1990s management courses, Peter Drucker.


Smooth but not smooth enough

But not smooth enough it seems. Mr Mahbubani got all the way to gate 52 in terminal 3 before he raised a few eyebrows. He was waiting for his Air Asia flight to Kolkata when he aroused suspicions. Air Asia called Lufthansa to verify his identity and Lufthansa swiftly dispatched security to the gate where he was challenged and everything just fell to pieces for our Frank Abagnale wannabe.


India’s Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) subsequently intervened. According to the Hindustan Times, he was passed onto Delhi Police for “a further probe.”

Sounds like just what you need at the end of a long day


Lufthansa ID picked up in Bangkok

According to The Independent, Mr Mahbubani picked up his Lufthansa ID in Bangkok and had enjoyed 15 flights in his Lufthansa rig. We can’t ascertain whether the flights were complimentary but there were upgrades, queue jumping and getting himself waved through security. 

It is also unknown whether he consistently stuck with AirAsia or whether Mr Mahbubani lucked out and choose the wrong airline this week. AirAsia told The Independent;

“AirAsia India confirms that a case of false identity was detected and informed to the CISF. The individual in question was impersonating as an employee of Lufthansa airlines.”

Mr Mahbubani in military mode. Photo: WhatsApp

And as is the way when these things happen, it kind of went downhill from there. It turns out Mr Mahbubani enjoys a bit of dress-up. Not in drag. Drag is very 2013. Rather, uniforms. Uniforms are the go with Mr Mahbubani. Which is fine I guess as long as you are discreet about it. But he wasn’t. He liked to post the odd picture online – a rookie mistake.

Mr Mahbubani’s days of sailing through queues at airports appear to be over. While the guy is just a bit of an oddball and no real risk to anybody, the fact that he was able to do get on flights previously without been properly scrutinized indicates there’s a hole in the system somewhere.

It is not known what offenses Mr Mahbubani will be be charged with or whether his Lufthansa uniform will be confiscated.


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What a madlad ….


Several years back, there was a gentleman who donned a US Army uniform to get early boardings at US airports. The gate agent was former military and asked a casual question about rank that the imposter could not answer. The agent dropped a “discrete” hint to airport security who escorted the imposter away from the gate and later appeared on the evening news.

Gerry Stumpe

This is serious. Imagine a terrorist or someone up to no good. Pretty scary. There is a definite flaw in security somewhere. Kudos to an alert Air Asia. What this does now, no less, is make things more difficult for real pilots. Crying shame!

Arthur Netteler

My Issue with this is NOT with Mr. Mahbubani. But with the Airport/Carrier Security Teams. As a Retired Pilot, I see SO MANY LAPSES in Security. This Man just liked to Dress Up, and not have to go through those RIDICULOUS long Lines at Screening! He was no threat to anyone, I would much rater they PROFILE some of the NUT CASES that are Boarding Airlines today! Though not sure why he would think that AirAsia would not seem suspicious of a Lufthansa Pilot flying with them in UNIFORM…haha


Yeah, everybody in uniform at the airport should be frisked, x-rayed, liquids taken away while sent to the back of the queue.

Oh… wait, its already like that.

Please leave us alone, the job is already slowly becoming a nightmare…

Stuart Betheil

The security people who failed to check his credentials should be fired AND jailed.