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Airline Puts 80-Year-Old Woman on Wrong Flight, Treats Her Like ‘Lost Luggage’

© REUTERS / Kamil KrzaczynskiA United Airline Airbus A320 aircraft lands at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 11, 2017.
A United Airline Airbus A320 aircraft lands at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 11, 2017. - Sputnik International
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This week, a partially blind, 80-year-old passenger who does not speak English was boarded on the wrong United Airlines flight and sent to Colorado instead of North Carolina, despite the fact that her family had previously requested special assistance from the airline.

Maria Larios was flying from El Salvador to Raleigh to be with her daughter, who was to undergo brain surgery. 

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The first leg of Larios' trip went smoothly and she landed in Houston, Texas, where she was supposed to transfer to her connecting flight to Raleigh. But somehow, she was given an incorrect boarding pass and ended up on a flight to Denver, Colorado, many hundreds of miles away from her intended destination, Tuesday evening.

"She cannot read or write even in her own language. She can't speak English at all. So when you hand her a boarding pass, she's trusting that it's the right boarding pass," the woman's daughter, Mikki Paradis, told local television station WRAL.

"They [United Airlines] were like, 'Oh yeah. We made a mistake, and she was given the wrong boarding pass and so she's in Denver. But it's not a big deal. We've already got her on a flight to Raleigh, and we gave her a meal voucher,'" she added.

Paradis was frustrated by the airline's casual response to the incident.

"You lost a person, and the whole time they were treating me like they lost my luggage," Paradis said.

United apologized for its mistake and put Larios on a flight to Raleigh that arrived around midnight on the same day.

"We deeply apologize to Ms. Larios and to her family for this experience," United Airlines said in a statement this week.

"When she arrived in Denver, she was placed on the next flight to Raleigh and we issued a refund and a travel certificate. Our customer care team is in contact with her family to ensure we make this right. We are also investigating this incident internally to better understand what happened so that we can prevent this from happening again."

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