A woman was set to fly from Chicago-Midway to Birmingham on Southwest Airlines. Except she didn’t. She disappeared. She was traveling with her family, and they started looking for her.
“My sister was bringing my mom here to Birmingham we share care because she has dementia…they had gone to the restroom and my sister and mom went into separate stalls and that’s where they got separated.”
Bygrave says her sister couldn’t find their mother. She got police at the airport involved and filed a missing persons report. She also asked Southwest Airlines employees at the gate to help look for her.
After 7 hours, she was finally found. In Los Angeles.
- She got on an LAX-bound Southwest flight. Since the plane wasn’t completely full, and Southwest has open seating, no one noticed she was in ‘their seat’.
- It’s concerning of course that she was able to board without a boarding pass for the flight, and that the passenger count wasn’t done correctly.
- On arrival in Los Angeles she exited the terminal and that’s when she was ‘found’.
- She didn’t have an ID but tried to go back through security.
Southwest put her on their next flight back to Chicago. Southwest refunded the family’s tickets, and let them travel at no cost.
People who should know better wind up on wrong flights infrequently but not rarely, the classic example being passengers flying to Sydney, Nova Scotia in Canada rather than Sydney, Australia. (The first clue there ought to be boarding an Embraer ERJ-175 regional jet from Toronto to Sydney or for that matter a Dash-8 from Halifax rather than a widebody jet.)
Here the woman had dementia, her family lost track of her, and Southwest managed to let her board a plane she shouldn’t have been on.
(HT: Le Chic Geek)