Man boards wrong plane and lands in wrong country

Man boards wrong plane and lands in wrong country

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BY Web Reporter

It was a trip on Delta Airlines that should have taken 24 hours, from Minsk, Belarus to Milan, Italy, to JFK in New York and then on to Seattle.

The trip was going well until Yauheni Shchytou got to New York.

What happened next added 20 hours and two unexpected international flights to his trip.

When Shchytou got to New York on Tuesday he believed his journey to Seattle was just about over.

After a brief layover he had his boarding pass and, although he speaks very little English, he said Delta officials showed him where to go.

“I went through the check-in and I was directed by the officers to go in to the plane. At that point I met quite a few Russian people who were going to Seattle as well and I was talking to them,” Shchytou said through a translator.

But his son said the directions his father received weren’t as clear as they needed to be.

“There was one gangway that was leading to two planes and then it was splitting so two planes were sitting side by side,” his son said.

Shchytou got on the wrong plane.

“I went on the plane took my assigned seat,” Shchytou said. “Being as tired as I was, I fell asleep and when I woke up I expected to see darkness but I saw that the sun was starting to come up and that was a little unusual.”

Unusual because Shchytou wasn’t in the skies over Seattle, he was on final approach to Frankfurt, Germany.

Meanwhile, at Sea-Tac International his son was at baggage claim and was terrified when he spotted his father’s luggage — without his father.

“I was thinking he either had aheart attack somewhere, he might have been left on a plane, nobody noticed or he may have been attacked and stabbed and left in a bathroom somewhere,” his son said.

A few phone calls later and everyone knew Shchytou was in Germany and Delta officials were arranging a flight back to the U.S.

But how did it happen?

Susan Elliot, a Delta spokesperson said that “this issue is not security related because the passenger was subject to physical screening at the TSA checkpoint. Rather, our investigation into this matter will focus on the procedures that were used in boarding his flight.”

Shchytou still insists Delta should have done more and he has written a letter to the airline.

For now though they are just happy to have grandpa home in Seattle and he is, as you might imagine, happy to finally be here as well.

“I crossed the ocean once and then without knowing it I crossed the ocean the second time and then all of a sudden I needed cross it one more time,” Shchytou said.

 

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