Actually, a few things happened and, while they were mildly amusing, they weren't entirely mirthsome. However they do serve to highlight how poor quality management of information can lead to unexpected and undesirable outcomes for customers when processes don't work the way they should.
Checking in on-line for my flight.
I love the convenience of on-line check-in. More accurately I loathe the interminability of queues in airports and like to get through security and to the vicinity of my gate as quickly as possile. On this trip it turned out that a friend of mine was heading to the same destination on a different carrier, so I'd hoped to be able to meet them for a second breakfast. Checking in online was the time-saving service that would enable that to happen.
I went to the website of the carrier I booked the flight with (British Airways) and put in the booking ID number I'd received from ebookers.com. This immediately whisked me off to American Airlines (the actual provider of the plane, pilots, crew, and inflight movies). Who promptly couldn't recognise my booking and required me to enter some additional data to find my flight. That took about two minutes to do.
I was then presented with my on-line checkin options. I scrolled down to see that there were red flags against some missing information - information which I had provided when booking my flight nearly 6 weeks ago. Details like my passport ID, the name on my passport, emergency contact numbers etc. The booking record was incomplete. Not a worry though as I had all the information to hand and obviously I have nothing better to do than refill forms (scrap and rework, which if it was an American Airlines employee doing it would represent a cost item going to the bottom line, but when the customer is doing it it is "empowerment" and "self-service", but I digress).
I filled in the details and hit submit... only to be greeted with the news that the name of the passenger didn't match the passport name provided. This baffled me as I only have one name. Even in two languages, my name is spelled and sounds the same (albeit there are around 13 possible spellings I've found in multiple languages for my name). Being an Information Quality Nut (tm) I scrolled down to see what could be causing the problem. Whitespaces at the beginning or end of the string was my suspicion. But my suspicions proved unfounded.
It was something else entirely....