While it may sound like the start to a “Home Alone” Christmas sequel, an unaccompanied six-year-old child did accidentally end up on the wrong Spirit Airlines (SAVE) – Get Free Report flight not long before Christmas.
In issuing the apology to the parents and the child, the airline explained that the unaccompanied minor that was supposed to fly from Philadelphia International Airport to visit his grandmother in Florida’s Fort Myers on Dec. 21 was “incorrectly boarded” on a Spirit flight to Orlando. The central Florida city known for its theme parks is more than 150 miles away from Fort Myers on the other side of the state.
“On Dec. 21, an unaccompanied child traveling from Philadelphia (PHL) to Fort Myers (RSW) was incorrectly boarded on a flight to Orlando (MCO),” Spirit Airlines said in a statement to media outlets. “The child was always under the care and supervision of a Spirit Team Member, and as soon as we discovered the error, we took immediate steps to communicate with the family and reconnect them.”
Extremely scary ordeal for family prompts ‘Home Alone 2’ comparisons
While the incident prompted many “Home Alone 2” jokes on social media, the grandmother described the incident as one of the scariest moments in her life.
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“I ran inside the plane to the flight attendant and I asked her, ‘Where’s my grandson? He was handed over to you at Philadelphia?’” Maria Ramos described to local news outlet WINK News. “She said, ‘No, I had no kids with me.’”
Spirit employees then discovered that the 6-year-old named Casper was mistakenly taken to Orlando and, after putting him on the phone with his grandmother, an airline worker sat with him while Ramos drove the four hours to Orlando due to not wanting him put on another flight without being told where communication broke down. (The airline reimbursed her for the gas.)
‘I want them to call me and let me know how my grandson ended up in Orlando’
“I want them to call me [and] let me know how my grandson ended up in Orlando,” Ramos told media outlets before she set off for the long drive to pick up Casper. “How did that happen? Did they get him off the plane? The flight attendant – after mom handed him with paperwork – did she let him go by himself? He jumped in the wrong plane by himself?”
Spirit, meanwhile, said that it was “conducting an internal investigation” into how the incident could have occurred.
“We take the safety and responsibility of transporting all of our guests seriously and are conducting an internal investigation,” spokesperson Thomas Fletcher said in a statement. “We apologize to the family for this experience.”
A month earlier, American Airlines (AAL) – Get Free Report was slapped with a lawsuit over two 14- and 12-year-old boys that were flying alone from Missouri to New York’s Syracuse and reportedly “spent the night on a sofa with the lights on” unaccompanied after a canceled connecting flight as their mother and stepfather were calling different airports to figure out where they were for hours.
“Nobody knew where they were,” the lawyer representing the family told media outlets. “Finally, [the mother] got a nice woman at the airport who looked for the children and found them.”
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