An admin error by the carrier left relatives unable to retrieve the remains of their loved one.
United Airlines has apologized for an administrative error that delayed a grieving family from collecting the remains of their loved one.
CBS affiliated KWTX-10 reports that 20-year-old Alma Sanchez, who was also known as Amy Rodriguez, was killed earlier this month in a car accident. While Sanchez was born in Houston, the outlet reports that she was working at a nursery in Pottsboro, Texas and sending her earnings home to family in Mexico.
After she died, co-workers raised $7,000 to send her remains back to Mexico and the outlet reports that United Airlines had been engaged to transport these back into the country. However, when the staff of a Mexico City funeral home attempted to retrieve Sanchez’s remains, they were told that they would be unable to do this due to the lack of accompanying paperwork.
Friends of Sanchez in Pottsboro rang the carrier and were told that her remains had been sent to the wrong place. Graciela Gonzalez, a friend and colleague of Sanchez, told the outlet that the airline gave her multiple stories about why the family was unable to retrieve the body. Gonzalez added that United was unable to find the paperwork associated with Sanchez’s remains and so her family had had to delay her funeral.
Speaking of the situation, she said, “Her mom is waiting for her in Oaxaca, they already have everything ready, everything set up, and suddenly, we just don’t know where her body is,” she said.
“It’s heartbreaking. It was like if she was luggage,” Gonzalez added.
It was later clarified that Sanchez’s body was actually at Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and United, which issued an apology as a result of the incident, allowed the family to pick up her remains without documentation.
In an official statement, the carrier said, “Upon learning that we had sent inaccurate documents to Mexico City, we acted with urgency to provide corrected information. We have extended our deepest apologies to the family and provided a full refund.”