Published: Sun, May 07, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

United passenger flies 3000 miles in the wrong direction

United passenger flies 3000 miles in the wrong direction

Lucie Bahetoukilae, who speaks no English, said she mistakenly boarded a flight to San Francisco when the airline failed to notify her of a gate change.

A French-speaking woman flew more than 4,800-km in the wrong direction in the U.S. after the United Airlines failed to notify her of her flight's last- minute gate change, according to media reports.

Bahetoukilae explained that she purchased a ticket from New Jersey's Newark Airport to Paris' Charles de Gaulle (a 7 ½ hour flight), but ended up flying almost 3,000 miles in the wrong direction to San Francisco. She had been traveling for more than 28 hours by the time United was able to reroute her back to France.

United says it's at fault for putting her on the wrong flight and calls the incident a "horrible failure". Despite the language barrier, Bahetoukilae told ABC7 she had a United Airlines boarding pass marked "Newark to Charles de Gaulle", and even had someone scan her pass at the listed gate.

Her niece, Diane Miantsoko told the network: 'If they would have made the announcement in French, she would she have moved gates.

She showed her boarding pass to a crew member after finding someone in what she thought was her assigned seat.

Bahetoukilae never realized United Airlines made a last- minute gate change. "If they would have made the announcement in French, she would she have moved gates".

Miantsoko said that despite the hassle, the family was more anxious about the airline's apparent security lapse.

Miantsoko mentioned: 'They didn't pay attention. My aunt could have been anyone.

United gave her a flight voucher and says it's working with its team in Newark to prevent something like this from happening again.

"This is not about money, this is about United getting serious with their employees", Miantsoko said. Along with an apology, United also paid for accommodations it hadn't offered Bahetoukilae, when she was waiting for her return flight in San Francisco, according to ABC-TV.

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