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United Airlines flies woman to San Francisco instead of France

United Airlines has found itself apologizing yet again, this time for sending a French woman on a 3,000-mile trip in the wrong direction. Lucie Bahetoukilae was recently scheduled to fly from Newark, N.J., to Paris, but instead found herself flying to San Francisco after she was inadvertently allowed to board the wrong plane, reports WABC. According to Bahetoukilae, who speaks only French and allowed her niece to speak on her behalf, the airline changed the flight’s gate at the last minute, and… ( Más...

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patrick baker 6
this can be filed in the "at least no one got hurt" folder, but due to the horrendous recent history of united, we see other things instead. She got a refund, got some extra frequent flier miles, ate some alleged food, and had no one to talk to about it. Hope she got an upgrade on the real flight to Paris.
Ken McIntyre 3
Reminds of an incident years ago when a man going to Oakland from Los Angeles got on an Air New Zealand flight to Aukland. The Kiwis pronounce Oakland and Aukland similarly. He was mighty surprised to see nothing but ocean about two hours into the flight and inquired to a flight attendant.

He was able to score a two day layover in Tahiti on the return...
sparkie624 0
Sometimes mistakes work out in your favor! LOL
John Danish 2
But, where did they send her luggage?
mike SUT 1
Technically, they should have been removed from the original flight as it was an international flight and the rules are positive bag matching. If the owner doesn't get on the flight then the bags are removed. They probably stayed in "Joisy"
siriusloon 1
That assumes it wasn't lost.
sparkie624 -2
They may be a mystery that will haunt her for years to come!
djames225 3
Mais oui, pas une autre grande erreur!
sparkie624 1
English please... The International standards for aviation is ENGLISH!
Oui oui, Monsieur...
djames225 2
I know that sparkie..sheesh was just trying to give the old gal some solice
ajagostini 1
The inconsistencies on the people herding side of part 121 travel never cease to amaze me. One week, we are told a story of a person ticketed, checked-in, and boarded being physically removed from their seat, and the next, we hear of a person "Mr. Magoo-ing" onto a flight set to depart half way around the world in the opposite direction without even being given a half-dirty look. What are all those computer/boarding pass scanner thingies for anyway?

Food for thought...

I might book my next trip to Paris, TX to see the Eiffel tower for real.

So much for a travel ban if the gate agents decide to allow buffet style travel.

Like the reality show, wife swap, we could have a show called "Mix and Match Family - Travel Edition."
indy2001 1
In addition to the gate agents and flight attendants, they might want to take the folks from IT to the woodshed as well. Why didn't the scanner refuse to accept the boarding pass? Humans make mistakes all too often, but the technology should detect them better than this.
siriusloon 0
Maybe she was going the long way 'round and just got off before reaching Paris. ;-)
this is actually very odd..boarding passes issued at the ticket counter (you have to have one to go through security)or at a kiosk are issued by the name and flight number,and the reservation indicates the itinerary..if she was going to france, and not to sfo,her boardingpass would have indicated the destination and the gate reader would not have accepted it..then theres that little thing about having to show and confirm a passport to fly internationally, in order to even get a boarding pass..somethng is not right here..she didn't "inadvertently" board the wrong flight and go to sfo instead of paris...
David Barnes -2
The article states, "Bahetoukilae then embarked on a 7.5-hour flight in the wrong direction. When she arrived in San Francisco, Bahetoukilae then endured an 11-hour layover as United tried to place her on another flight to France."

How is EWR-SFO a 7.5 hour flight?
James Driskell 4
Last run of one of United's DC-7s.
sailingeric 6
6.5 hour flight, plus boarding and getting off of the plane. It would be close to 7.5 hours.
David Barnes 2
I guess (a) I didn't think that flight would be quite so long, and (b) didn't consider boarding and deboarding in that time. Fair points both.
Highflyer1950 4
Actually, around 5:35 with an approx. 45kt average headwind.
David Barnes 2
When I checked the UAL schedule, they nearly all listed at approx 6h15m. Padding much?
dee9bee 2
No, but the reporter is. It's sort of like those 'We sat on the runway for three hours waiting to take off' war stories.
siriusloon 2
I've actually done that, although on the taxiway, not the runway. Those stories might not always be true, but it was that time.
sparkie624 -1
There is always padding that way when they are late they don't have to explain it if it is in the window, and if they get there on time which would be early the captain can make everyone feel good by telling them they may get an early arrival... Plus don't forget delays getting to the gate at large airports as well.
siriusloon 1
A flight I took from Detroit to LAX took just under a full hour longer than scheduled due to headwinds. It made getting to another terminal, checking in, and getting aboard an Air New Zealand flight to Auckland "interesting". At least it was in pre-TSA days or we never would have made the connection.


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