Suppose you flew into Tucson from China, thinking you were in Tulsa, and didn't speak any English?
[right, Arkansas River, Tulsa. Left, Santa Cruz River, Tucson]
And as I finished checking in, the Continental folks said they expected they would be able to get the woman to where she wanted to be fairly easily.
Update (10 pm) - the young lady ended up getting on our flight to Houston just as they were closing the cabin door, and sat behind me in the last row. In Houston, she was clearly lost, clutching her Tulsa boarding pass and trying to figure out what to do. We were in the B terminal and she needed to be at the farthest end of E. So, she was gladly accepted my offer to escort her to her gate. I had trouble myself finding it through multiple twists and turns and a long shuttle train ride. But we got there with 30 minutes to spare and made sure the gate agent knew of her language limitations. I gathered from a few one-word exchanges that she is on her way to work in a family-owned restaurant in Tulsa.
I know when I've traveled overseas how confusing it is, so it was nice to be able to pay back in an anonymous sense to all those who have provided me aid.