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United Airlines flies passenger with ticket to Paris 3,000 miles in the wrong direction, apologises later

Her boarding pass was checked twice once at the gate and once again on the flight, however, the airline's representative missed her "destination".

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 6, 2017 3:35:56 pm
united airlines, us airlines, united airlines passenger, world news, indian express news, latest news Bahetoukilae, who speaks only French and does not understand English, could not understand what went wrong until she found herself at San Francisco airport, after flying 3,000 miles in the wrong direction. (File photo)

When it comes to customer relations and services, United Airlines must surely reconsider their actions. After the infamous incident of a passenger being dragged and assaulted on an ‘overbooked’ flight, the company is again under fire. This time they flew a passenger to a different destination altogether. Yes, a French national who was flying by the American carrier found herself in San Francisco when actually her boarding pass was for Paris. Strange, right?

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A French-speaking United passenger Lucie Bahetoukilae said she mistakenly boarded a flight to San Francisco when the airline failed to notify her of a gate change. Her boarding pass which read, “Newark to Charles de Gaulle” was checked at the gate by a United representative, and without checking the details, she was allowed to board the flight.

According to reports, upon boarding the flight, Bahetoukilae found her assigned seat — 22C was already occupied. A cabin crew stepped in, saw her boarding pass again and assigned her an alternative seat! Bahetoukilae, who speaks only French and does not understand English, could not understand what went wrong until she found herself at San Francisco airport, after flying 3,000 miles in the wrong direction.

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Owing to the ongoing crisis about company’s image, the airline apologised for the ‘horrible failure’ to correctly check Bahetoukilae’s boarding pass.

Bahetoukilae suffered an 11-hour layover before finally returning to France. The airline refunded Bahetoukilae and also gave her a travel voucher. However, her family says it’s not about the money but the trouble she went through. They also raised serious questions about the airline failing to ensure safety to passengers.

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Her niece, Diane Miantsoko told ABC news, “With everything going on in this country people have to be more careful. They didn’t pay attention. My aunt could have been anyone. She could have been a terrorist and killed people on that flight and they didn’t know they didn’t catch it.”

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