United Airlines apologized to a French woman who was inadvertently allowed to board a flight to San Francisco instead of Paris.
Lucie Bahetoukilae booked a flight from Newark, N.J., to Paris, but instead flew to San Francisco after she was allowed to board the wrong plane, WABC-TV reported.
Bahetoukilae, who only speaks French, ended up on the wrong plane in late April after the airline made a last-minute gate change, according to her niece, Diane Miantsoko, who shared her aunt’s story with WABC-TV.
Miantsoko said the gate change announcement wasn't made in French and Bahetoukilae wasn't notified by email, so she boarded the plane and went to her seat.
"If they would have made the announcement in French, she would she have moved gates," Miantsoko said. "Of course, because she speaks French she would've moved to another gate."
According to Bahetoukilae, a flight attendant looked at her ticket and instead of asking her to deboard, found her an empty seat.
When Bahetoukilae landed in San Francisco, she had an 11-hour layover, before boarding a flight to Paris, WABC-TV reported. According to the station, she spent more than 28 hours trying to reach her destination.
United Airlines said in a statement that airline officials are working with their team in Newark to ensure a similar situation never happens again, Business Insider reported.
"We deeply apologize to Ms. Bahetoukilae for this unacceptable experience," the airline said in a statement to Business Insider. "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.”
United Airlines has been under increased scrutiny after passenger David Dao was dragged by aviation police off a United Express flight April 9, leaving him with a concussion and two broken teeth. The airline needed to remove four passengers after Flight 3411 from Chicago O’Hare to Louisville had loaded to make room for crew members.
The airline, which recently settled with Dao, gave Bahetoukilae a full refund, and a voucher for another trip, according to WABC-TV.
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