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Sunday, May 7, 2017

travelling thousands of miles the wrong way ! mistake of Air Carrier

Air travel is expensive yet the market is getting hotter.  Search for an international flight and you'll be offered myriad options via Europe, the Middle East and Africa, often with layovers of up to seven or eight hours. And while spending half a day in an airport isn't high on anyone's bucket list, airports working hard to improve the experience.  Paris-Charles de Gaulle,  recently opened its "Instant Paris" hub, offering transit passengers 4,500m² of free-access relaxation area complete with a lounge, a family play area, restaurants, a library and even a cinema.  Trying to offer the customers a nice experience,  to ensure the passengers' comfort before, after and between each flight,  they  decided to treat transfer passengers to a unique moment of relaxation in the middle of Europe's premier airport hub.

"With Instant Paris, customers can be whisked to the heart of the capital for the duration of their stopover, without ever having to leave the airport." The hub is styled on a typical Hausmannian apartment, and boasts several relaxing and entertaining features that allow you to while away the hours in a city-centre environment.  Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is the largest international airport in France. It is named after Charles de Gaulle (1890–1970), leader of the Free French Forces during the Second World War, founder of the French Fifth Republic and President of France from 1959 to 1969.

Back home as one gets into the subway nearer the Anna statue in Mount Road, one may be confused and could end up at a wrong side as one leads to Ellis Road / Devi Theatre side and the other to the so called new Secretariat side.  To add to confusion, once the signboard read – way to Trichy (more than 325 km away !); new comers to Chennai Railway station (or for that matter most cities) would stand confused in finding out which direction their destination is and sometimes could end up getting up to a wrong train and travelling farther – primarily because there is no checking of tickets nor showing the way in suburban train !! ~ all the confusion of ordinary mortals not that of high flyers.  Air travel is for elites ~ they are treated royally,  there are announcements / signages / gate checking and being lead to boarding the plane ~ yet, sometimes a meek souls may fear whether they are travelling in the right bus on the tarmac  to board the plane !! – have you experienced this anytime before ??  :  now read this !

United Airlines UAL, admitted it failed a woman who boarded a plane in Newark, N.J., 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. Bahetoukilae, who speaks no English, said she never realized 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,” Miantsoko told WABC. “Of course, because she speaks French, she would’ve moved to another gate.”

Instead of a 7½-hour flight to the City of Lights, Bahetoukilae flew almost 3,000 miles 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 traveling for more than 28 hours. 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 apologized for the fiasco, saying it “mistakenly put her on the wrong flight” ;  even though 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 apologize 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. 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.

Thus the woman ended up flying more than 4,800-km in the wrong direction.  The airline called the incident, which it just settled in a confidential lawsuit, "a horrible failure," it said.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
7th May 2017.

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