United: Passenger's 28-Hour Ordeal Was 'Horrible Failure'

The airline accidentally sent a woman to California instead of France
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2017 1:05 PM CDT
United Sorry It Sent Woman to California Instead of France
In this Wednesday, March 15, 2017, photo, people stand in line at a United Airlines counter at LaGuardia Airport in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

United Airlines is issuing yet another apology after what was supposed to be a seven-and-a-half hour flight turned into a 28-hour ordeal for one unlucky passenger. WABC reports Lucie Bahetoukilae, who was flying home to France from New Jersey, went to the gate stamped on her Newark-to-Charles de Gaulle boarding pass, had it scanned by a United employee, and got on the plane. There was someone already in her seat, but a flight attendant looked at her boarding pass and had her sit somewhere else. Bahetoukilae got off the plane to find herself in San Francisco, having traveled 3,000 miles in the wrong direction.

Apparently, United had switched gates for the flight at the last minute. The announcement wasn't made in French, and Bahetoukilae, who doesn't speak any English, didn't get an email from United about it. After an 11-hour layover at the airport in San Francisco, Bahetoukilae was finally on her way home, arriving in France after 28 hours of traveling. United says it's at fault for putting her on the wrong flight and calls the incident a "horrible failure." United gave Bahetoukilae a voucher for a free flight. Bahetoukilae's daughter says they don't want a refund or anything from United; they just want the airline's employees to pay better attention, especially given all the security concerns around air travel. (Read more United Airlines stories.)

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