United Airlines flies woman 4,800km in wrong direction

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SHE flew the friendly skies — in the wrong direction.
United Airlines admitted it failed a woman who boarded a plane in Newark for a flight to Paris — but ended up in San Francisco instead, WABC-TV reported.
Lucie Bahetoukilae said she took her boarding pass — marked “Newark to Charles de Gaulle” — to the gate, where a United rep scanned it before she boarded the plane.
“When she went to sit, someone was sitting there already,” said her niece, Diane Miantsoko, who translated for the French-speaker.
But she said the flight attendant looked at her boarding pass and simply sat her somewhere else.
Ms Bahetoukilae, who speaks no English, said she never realised United made a last-minute gate change without making an announcement in French or notifying her by email.
“If they would have made the announcement in French, she would have moved gates,” Ms Miantsoko told WABC.
“Of course, because she speaks French, she would’ve moved to another gate.”
Instead of a 7.5 hour flight to the City of Lights, Ms Bahetoukilae flew almost 4,800km to the City by the Bay, where she languished for 11 hours at the airport before being rerouted to France. 
When she finally arrived in Paris, she had been travelling for more than 28 hours.
Ms Miantsoko said that despite the hassle, the family was more worried about the airline’s apparent security lapse.
“With everything going on this country, people have to be more careful,” she said.
“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.”
United has apologised for the fiasco, saying it “mistakenly put her on the wrong flight.”
And even though Ms Bahetoukilae didn’t seek a refund, she received one for the airfare, hotel accommodation in San Francisco and a voucher for another trip, the station reported.
“We deeply apologise to Ms Bahetoukilae for this unacceptable experience,” the air carrier said in a statement.
“When she arrived in San Francisco, we ensured she got on the next flight to Paris and refunded her ticket. Our customer care team has reached out to her directly to ensure we make this right. We are also working with our team in Newark to prevent this from happening again.”
The beleaguered airline has made headlines recently for a number of incidents, including the violent ejection of Dr David Dao from an overbooked flight on April 9. The Kentucky doctor settled his claim against United last week.
On April 19, the airline came under fire again after the death of a giant rabbit, named Simon, in the hold on a flight from London. United has reportedly reached a five-figure compensation with the rabbit’s breeder.

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