Maria Nieves' daughter sent her 85-year-old mother an index card with her name, flight information and final destination prior to her holiday trip. The index card wasn't just a precaution though.
Nieves had accidentally flown to the wrong location before, and the family felt equipping her with this information could prevent it in the off chance it might happen again. It didn't.
Even with this information in her possession, available for any airport employee to cross check, instead of ending up in Fort Meyers, Fla., Nieves landed in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sunday night.
She had flown to the wrong destination -- again.
This information was given to Maria Nieves on an index card by her, whom she was visiting for Christmas. Even with this card and the assistance of a Southwest wheelchair attendant, Nieves was flown to the wrong destination -- and it wasn't the first time. (Image source: KCTV-TV)
Flying Southwest from Chicago, the airline told KCTV-TV they are not sure how this or the prior mix-up happened.
"They took her off the plane. They took her to a gate. We do not know what gate they brought her to. (It) was a multi-departure gate where two or three flights take off of at the same time. Or did they just bring her to the wrong gate? And she clearly showed them the index card," Robert Ortiz, Nieves' son, told the news station.
Maria Nieves and her son Robert Ortiz. In 2011, Nieves was supposed to fly Southwest to New Orleans to visit Ortiz and ended up in the wrong destination, missing Thanksgiving. (Image source: KCTV-TV)
"I can see it happening once but twice to the same person, it's kind of like lightning striking twice in the same place," Ortiz added.
"We are investigating the situation that involved the customer ending up in the wrong destination," a statement from the airline sent to KCTV read. "We take these situations very seriously and are trying to get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible."
Instead of leaving from Chicago, connecting in Atlanta and changing planes to Fort Myers, Nieves was sent to Pittsburgh. (Image source: KCTV-TV)
While the airline investigates, Ortiz said the family was assured an incident like this would never happen again.
"...here we go again," he told KCTV. "We put our hands in their lives every time we get on a plane and travel with them and they need to be responsible."
Watch KCTV-TV's report about the situation:
In the previous mix-up in 2011, Nieve missed spending Thanksgiving with her family. Thankfully, the elderly woman traveling to be with her family for the holidays was able to make it to Florida in time for Christmas, arriving late Sunday night.