American Airlines admits it sent the wrong plane to fly to Hawaii

We get mixing up brown and black shoes, but airplanes?

American Airlines admitted Sunday that it sent a plane from Los Angeles to Honolulu that was not cleared to make the long voyage over the ocean.

The August 31 mix-up, first reported by transportation blogger Brian Sumers, occurred when the airline dispatched an Airbus A321H used by American Airlines that lacked ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The certification, which requires the plane to carry additional equipment, is needed for planes with two engines to fly long-range routes far from emergency landing sites — like that from the west coast to Hawaii.

American Airlines spokesman Casey Norton told the AFP that they were still looking into how the mix-up happened, but emphasized that over a hundred passengers flew safely on flight 31 that day on the same plane as the one that was supposed to make it --aside from having an "ETOPS" certification.

"It has the same engine, same fuel tanks, same range," Norton told AFP. He said that the A321H has extra medical oxygen -- different than the oxygen masks that drop from the ceiling -- in case of an in-flight medical emergency and an additional fire-suppression canister.

American said it was aware of the mistake after the plane took off  bit it was too late to turn the flight around. The plane was then immediately flown back to LA, empty, and the scheduled return flight was canceled.