Airline Fail: Continental Loses Dead Body

Travel News — By Candice Walsh on May 4, 2011 at 9:48 am

Airlines seem to have an uncanny ability to misplace the most important of personal belongings. Just ask Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose pistols were lost by American Airlines. Kinda something you don’t wanna misplace, don’t you think? Delta’s also been known to misplace an item or two…including a dog.

But this one takes the cake: Continental Airlines lost a dead body two years ago, and now they’re being sued.

Martha Elena Flores Cura is filing a lawsuit against the airline for the apparent loss of her deceased common-law husband, Humberto Rivera. The casket containing Rivera’s remains was being transported from Atlanta to McAllen airport in Texas, in 2009. The story: a hired driver was told the flight was delayed, and then was informed the remains had already been picked up by somebody else. Continental refused to claim responsibility, so the driver filed a police report. Not long after, Rivera’s body was found at a Brownsville funeral home in Texas.

Image: Magnus Bråth/Flickr

Basically, the deceased’s family not only had to deal with the loss of a loved one, they had to deal with him actually being lost. Way to go, Continental. As per usual, your sympathy is outstanding.

But it’s not the first time it’s happened: in 2008, American Airlines sent Teresa Olaya’s remains to a whole different country.

Olaya’s body was supposed to be sent to Ecuador for burial, but somehow ended up in Guatemala due to a typo in the airport code. Apparently someone typed “GUA” instead of “GYE”. Then the airline even demanded money from the family to fix the blunder and ship the body back to Ecuador. It was later retracted, but ouch. Damage done.

As for Ms. Cura, a hearing is set for June 8th with Continental. Stay tuned!

Tags: airline blunders, airport fails, Continental Airlines loses dead body

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