83-year-old woman boards wrong US Airways flight, ends up in Puerto Rico

Ever go to pick someone up at the airport and realize that their flight has been delayed? Bummer, right? Well, now imagine that the person you’re picking up is your 83-year-old, wheelchair-bound mother, and she’s been accidentally put on a plane to Puerto Rico. Looks like you’ll be waiting at baggage claim for a while.

This is precisely what happened a couple days ago to Vera Kuemmel, who was supposed to be picking up her mother from a Tampa* airport after her mother’s trip to New York. But things went a little haywire as Elfriede Kuemmel (a great name for an 83-year-old woman, by the way) was trying to switch planes in Philadelphia.

Elfriede, who was seated in a wheelchair and helped to her (or not her) plane by a US Airways attendant, accidentally ended up on a flight headed for San Juan, Puerto Rico, instead of one arriving in Tampa, Florida.

In San Juan, the woman was (let’s hope) profusely apologized to and soon put up at a hotel and provided with food until the next flight to Tampa.

A US Airways spokesperson says she’s not sure how the passenger’s incorrect boarding pass didn’t set off alarm bells, but says “we’re looking into what we could have done on our end to prevent that.”

I don’t know, maybe, check the woman’s boarding pass?

On the plus side, Elfriede says she did enjoy the first class flight back to Tampa. Hey, take it when you can get it, right?

More here.

*correction made

10 tips for smarter flying

5 steps to smarter packing