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Abject apologies after passenger takes wrong flight

May 10, 2017 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

United Airlines has apologised for another blunder after an international passenger was allowed to board the wrong flight and fly almost 5000 kilometres in the wrong direction.

As result, a passenger’s flight to Paris from Newark, New Jersey, turned into 28-hour ordeal that involved a transcontinental flight across North America to San Francisco.

The passenger was Lucie Bahetoukilae, who only speaks French, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Her boarding pass read “Newark to Charles de Gaulle” and she went to the gate written on the boarding pass. Unbeknown to her, the gate had changed. Somehow, a United gate agent scanned the pass, didn’t pick up the error and allowed her to board.

Once aboard, it got worse. Seeing her seat was already taken (understandable, as she was on the wrong flight) a flight attendant simply re-seated Bahetoukilae. Then the flight took off for San Francisco. Bahetoukilae, who should have been heading east to Paris, flew west to California over 4800 kilometres away.

The woman’s niece says the last-minute gate change at Newark was not announced in French or by email. Bahetoukilae finished up reaching Paris, but only after an 11-hour layover in San Francisco.

As well as the inconvenience for Bahetoukilae, the airline’s error involved a massive security breach. United has just settled the incident in a lawsuit, according to the Sacramento Bee. The airline apologised for its “horrible failure” and gave Bahetoukilae a refund and a flight voucher.

The latest blunder adds to a spate of bad publicity for United. Last month, passenger David Dao, a doctor, was violently dragged from a United flight after refusing to give his seat to a United staff member. On the same day, on a United flight from Houston to Calgary, a scorpion tumbled out of the overhead locker and stung a Canadian passenger.

Then, more recently, there was the mysterious death of Simon the giant rabbit. See: Airline shock – was giant bunny locked in freezer? The airline faces possible legal action over that, along with the rabbit’s quick cremation, which a lawyer says destroyed vital evidence.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:


    Coh blind me, a very british espession would say!
    do UA have sufficent cash to refund all the pax for their mistakes ? do they get suitable punishment for the lack of security and worst of all for their gestapo treat to passengers: move your ass to the tail side , a flying staff must sit here!!!!!
    This airline must be under MrTrump school of behaviourism. in’it ?

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