Flying blind: Airline sends passenger to the wrong destination

United Airlines 737-800
Woman finally reunited with her daughter after airline mix up. Photo credit: Reuters

An elderly woman ended up more than 2000km away from her intended destination after airline staff failed to realise she had the wrong ticket.

Eighty-year-old Maria Larios, who cannot speak English and is partially blind, was booked to travel from El Salvador to North Carolina - but boarded the wrong plane during a stopover in Houston and ended up in Denver, Colorado.

Ms Larios was traveling to stay with her daughter who is about to undergo brain surgery.

United Airlines apologised to the family, but Ms Larios's daughter-in-law said her mother was treated like baggage and not like a person.

Mikki Paradis told NBC affiliate WRAL News said she was worried and upset about her mother's treatment.

"They 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.'"

Ms Larios was put on a flight to North Carolina from Colorado, and finally met her daughter almost 12 hours after she left home.