Woman With Dementia Flies from Chicago to Los Angeles Without a Boarding Pass

A woman with dementia disappeared from the Chicago Airport.  Her worried family later found out she had flown to Los Angeles on Southwest–all without a boarding pass.  She was at the airport to fly to Birmingham with her daughter and disappeared after going into a toilet stall.


Her daughter is upset the airline didn’t do more to help.  According to her, the airline insisted there was no way her mother could be on another flight.

From the ABC Local Affiliate:

But Bygrave is most upset the airline wouldn’t do more to look for her mother on other planes that had boarded near the gate where the flight to BHM was boarding. When she called the airline, “I told them we think my mom might be on a plane because she literally just disappeared and the agent or person on the phone said we can’t give you that information.”

Believe it or not, people getting on the wrong plane happens more than you’d expect.

Sometimes the scanning system is down and the gate agent checks off seat numbers manually.  Some flyers who accidentally got on the wrong flight think the gate agent mistakened the “no†sound for the exit row seat warning.  And gate agents sometimes just miss someone.

Once, a gate agent gave someone else with a similar name my boarding pass.

But usually, the extra person is discovered onboard when there are two people for the same seat.  Or when they announce the destination.  But occasionally someone does slip through.

This is how airlines handle someone ending up at the wrong airport.

Of course, the situation can get worse than merely one passenger ending up in the wrong place.

A Delta flight once landed at the wrong airport.  So every passenger on the whole plane ended up in the wrong place.

In most situations, I blame this on someone being too distracted.  But in this specific case, when someone has dementia and is missing in an airport, the airlines should do a quick seat check/count on each flight until she’s found.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

Check Also

Bar Blur

Tourist Arrested in Dubai for Touching Man’s Hip in Bar

A British citizen was arrested in Dubai for inadvertently touching another man’s hip in a …


  1. I get that it’s your content and you can do what you want with it, but lifting a whole paragraph from another one of your posts then linking to that post right after is like the ultimate in content laziness.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      That’s fair. My intention was to still give the important information relevant to the post within the post, and allowing people to read even more about it–but point taken, and I’ll think about that in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.