Is this Rahul Gandhi’s boarding pass for a June 5 flight to Bangkok? No, it’s edited!

By: Ankita Kulkarni
June 3 2024

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Is this Rahul Gandhi’s boarding pass for a June 5 flight to Bangkok? No, it’s edited!

Screenshot of viral post claiming that Rahul Gandhi is 'running away' to Bangkok post the Lok Sabha election results. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

The original image was shared by Ajay Awtaney, a columnist. The boarding pass was for a Vistara flight he took from Delhi to Singapore in August 2019.

Claim ID 2b082e61

What is the claim?

An image of a boarding pass for a flight operated by Indian airline Vistara, purportedly booked for Bangkok, Thailand, in the name of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, is circulating on social media. Users are sharing the image to claim that Gandhi is "running away to Bangkok on June 5," a day after the results of the Indian general election will be declared. The seven-phase elections, which began on April 19, ended on June 1.

One such post on X (formerly Twitter) captions the viral image, “Rahul Gandhi's flight ticket for June 5, 2024 Business class Vistara Airlines.” Archived links of this and another post can be found here and here. The picture is also being shared on Facebook, with archived versions available here and here. The image is also circulating on WhatsApp with similar claims. 

Screenshot of viral posts on social media. (Source: X/Facebook/WhatsApp)Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

The posts are emerging after most exit poll surveys predicted a loss for the Congress-led INDIA bloc and a win for the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance), indicating a return to power for a third term for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The image, however, has been digitally altered. The original boarding pass showed the name of columnist Ajay Awtaney and was for a flight to Singapore in 2019.

What discrepancies did we note?

A closer look at the viral image reveals discrepancies: the ticket mentions two different flight numbers. The left side reads “UK121,” and the right side shows “UK115,” suggesting the image has been manipulated. 

Several discrepancies are noticeable in the viral image. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

We discovered that flight number UK121 is for the airline’s flight from Delhi to Bangkok, while UK115 is for the Vistara flight from Delhi to Singapore. Additionally, the UK121 flight for June 5, 2024, is scheduled for 8:25 AM, which does not match the 23:45 PM time on the boarding pass. Meanwhile, the UK115 flight to Singapore is scheduled for 11:45 PM.

Screenshot of the Vistara flights numbered UK121 and UK115. (Source: Vistara Airlines/ Screenshot) 

These discrepancies indicate the image has been edited and does not show a boarding pass for a flight to Bangkok.

Where is the original image from?

A reverse image search led us to an article on the website Live from a Lounge, titled "Onboard Vistara To Singapore: The first Vistara international flight ever!" by an author named Ajay. The article featured the same image, but the name stated was "Awtaney Ajay."

The original image showed flight number UK115 with a departure date of August 6, 2019, from Delhi to Singapore. The gate number, boarding time, and seat number match the viral picture. 

Comparison between the viral image and the 2019 image. (Source: X/Live from a Lounge/Screenshot) 

The article detailed the author’s experience on Vistara’s first international flight. Awtaney is the founder of Live from a Lounge, a digital platform reporting on aviation and hotels and providing travel tips. Awtaney has contributed as a columnist for BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, and ET Now.

Awtaney also shared a post on his official Instagram account (archived here) on August 8, 2019, describing his experience on the Delhi-Singapore flight, along with images. The caption read, "Kudos to @vistara and the entire team at Vistara for the launch of their maiden international service, with the launch of the flight between @delhiairport and @changiairport."

Vistara also posted on its Facebook page (archived here) in July 2019 that its first international flight from Delhi to Singapore was scheduled for August 6, 2019.

Logically Facts also contacted Awtaney, who confirmed that the image was taken by him on the occasion of Vistara’s first international flight in August 2019, which operated between Delhi and Singapore.

The verdict

An edited image of a boarding pass has been falsely shared to claim Rahul Gandhi is running away to Bangkok following the announcement of the 2024 Indian Lok Sabha election results. The original image shows that the ticket belonged to Ajay Awtaney, who flew from Delhi to Singapore in 2019. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before