Airline keeps mistaking 101-year-old woman for baby

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A 101-year-old woman named Patricia has been repeatedly mistaken for a baby due to an error in American Airlines’ booking system. The issue arises because the airline’s systems fail to recognize that Patricia, who prefers not to share her last name, was born in 1922, not 2022.

The most recent mix-up occurred during a flight from Chicago to Marquette, Michigan, an incident witnessed by a BBC reporter who was also on the flight. Patricia was traveling with her daughter, Kris, who had made the reservation online. However, the airport computer system erroneously registered Patricia’s birth year as 2022 instead of 1922, resulting in her being treated as an infant.

Despite the confusion, Patricia and the cabin crew were able to find humor in the situation. Patricia jokingly remarked, “It was funny that they thought I was only a little child and I’m an old lady!”

This is not the first time such an error has occurred. Patricia experienced a similar situation last year when the airline also mistook her for a child.

Although Patricia’s seat was booked as an adult ticket, the airport computer system seems unable to process a birth date so far in the past, defaulting instead to a date 100 years later.

As a former nurse who flies annually to visit family and escape cold winters, Patricia acknowledges the kindness and assistance provided by American Airlines staff despite the confusion caused by the glitch.

However, the recurring issue does pose some challenges for Patricia, such as delays in receiving airport transportation and difficulties with luggage handling.

While Patricia maintains a positive outlook and plans to continue flying, she hopes the IT problem will be resolved to avoid future inconveniences. She emphasizes the importance of her real age being acknowledged, not only for her own comfort but also for the convenience of her daughter, Kris, who has had to manage luggage and logistical challenges due to the misunderstanding.

Despite the ongoing IT issues, Patricia remains undeterred and looks forward to her next flight in the autumn, when she will be 102 years old, hoping that by then the airline’s computers will accurately reflect her age.

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