Monday, November 24, 2008

Pensioner put on wrong flight

Employees at US Airways are looking into how an 83-year-old woman in a wheelchair flying from New York to Tampa instead found herself at an airport in Puerto Rico.

Elfriede Kuemmel had gone to Newburgh, N.Y., for a day trip on Monday. Kuemmel's family said that somehow, an attendant on a connecting flight in Philadelphia wheeled Kuemmel to the wrong flight.

She spent the night in Puerto Rico and arrived at the Tampa airport Monday. A US Airways spokesperson said the airline paid for her food and hotel and flew her back to Florida first-class.

Asked how she liked Puerto Rico, she said, "I didn't see it. I was in the airport the whole time,'' although she did get to spend the night in a nearby hotel room courtesy of the airline.

She said she loved flying first class after the tiresome, unexpected diversion. She has never been to Puerto Rico before, she said, "and I'll never go again.''

Then she got into the family's car, and away they went.

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