Thursday 22 February 2018

United Airlines apologises again after flying passenger 3,000 miles in the wrong direction

United Airlines
United Airlines

Natalie Paris

United Airlines has been forced to apologise for another public relations gaffe, after flying one of its passengers 4,800km in the wrong direction.

A last-minute change to a departure gate saw Lucie Bahetoukilae, who does not speak English, board a flight to San Francisco when she was supposed to be going to Newark.

The mistake occurred on April 24, when Ms Bahetoukilae got on the wrong plane in Paris after United failed to notify her that her flight was leaving from a different gate.

Once on the plane, according to reports, Ms Bahetoukilae went to sit down but noticed that someone else was in her seat.

When she handed her boarding pass to the flight attendant, the incorrect destination went unnoticed and she was directed to another seat.

Ms Bahetoukilae said United Airlines did not email her about the gate change and did not make an announcement in French at the airport.

After landing in San Francisco, she had to wait for 11 hours before she could be rerouted home again.

Read More: United Airlines reaches settlement with doctor dragged from plane

United has apologised to Ms Bahetoukilae and said it is working with its team to ensure that a similar thing doesn’t happen again.

Ms Bahetoukilae’s niece, Diane Miantsoko, told ABC7: "This is not about money, this is about United getting serious with their employees."

Blood drips from the mouth of the doctor as he is dragged off the United Airlines flight
Blood drips from the mouth of the doctor as he is dragged off the United Airlines flight

The incident comes shortly after the airline suffered an international PR disaster when passengers filmed a man being dragged off one of its planes by security staff and suffering a bloodied nose.

United authorised the man’s removal because the flight had been overbooked.

Officials at 10 of the busiest US airports have since said their rules prevent security officers from physically removing passengers from aircraft unless a crime is committed.

Afterwards, Dr David Dao was reported to have reached agreement for a settlement with United for an undisclosed sum.

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