Entrusting your child with others is a big thing, even activities like playdates and after-school classes. When you hand your beloved daughter or son to another party, you do so with a big leap of trust. Of course, usually nothing happens and you get your kid back safe and sound and their journeys are hassle free. But this isn’t always the case. Recently as Jezebel reported — United Airlines temporarily “lost” a 10-year-old girl when she flew as an unaccompanied minor. What happened?
Author Bob Sutton blogged about his friends Annie and Perry Klebahn, whose daughter was on the way to summer camp in Grand Rapids from California. The Klebahn’s 10-year-old daughter Phoebe was set to fly from San Francisco to Chicago. At the Chicago airport, a United representative was to meet her at the gate and escort her to her next flight. But that didn’t happened.
According to Sutton in his complaint letter, this is what did:
“The attendants where busy and could not help her she told us. She told them she had a flight to catch to camp and they told her to wait. She asked three times to use a phone to call us and they told her to wait. When she missed the flight she asked if someone had called camp to make sure they knew and they told her “yes-we will take care of it”. No one did. She was sad and scared and no one helped.”
The parents were alerted that there was an issue when the camp called them and told them their daughter was missing, a call that would send any parent into instant freak-out mode. They called United but apparently the customer service agent they spoke to was not concerned about what happened reportedly adding vaguely, “I am sure she is fine.”
The family was only able to find their daughter when they appealed to an United worker who, only after she was off-duty, took the time to find Phoebe alone at the Chicago airport.
After the ordeal, the Klebahns, understandably, complained to the airline but were, as Jezebel noted, “rebuffed.” Only after they contacted a local news reporter did United Airlines become apologetic. “United doesn’t care about Phoebe, they don’t care about Annie and Perry, but they do care about getting an ugly story on TV,” Sutton wrote. “So some United executive called Annie and Perry at home yesterday to try to cool them out.”
United Airlines has now stated that the situation is under investigation.
Would you ever, or have you ever, send your child on a plane unaccompanied?