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USFurious parents say an airline held unaccompanied kids overnight without contacting them

06:30  13 august  2019
06:30  13 august  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Furious parents say they were left in the dark by Frontier Airlines after their young children were taken to a hotel room by a staff member Two parents are furious after their two unaccompanied children, aged seven and nine, were taken to a hotel room by an airline employee without telling

Carter and Etta’s parents say they received a text message from their son saying a Frontier employee would take them to a hotel to stay overnight , but the Carter Gray, 9 and his sister Etta, 7, were traveling as unaccompanied minors on a Frontier airline flight from Des Moines, Iowa, to Orlando

Hudson Hoyt was ecstatic for his first time at Camp New Friends.

Furious parents say an airline held unaccompanied kids overnight without contacting them Kristie Hoyt with her two sons, Hudson (left) who is 8, and Ezra. Hudson has neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that causes tumors to grow on nerve tissue. Hudson was caught in an overnight flight delay with American Airlines, according to his mother, Kristie Hoyt. Hudson and the other children he was flying with did not receive meals and their parents were not contacted by the airline, Hoyt says. (Family photo courtesy of Kristie Hoyt)

The 8-year-old, who lives in Beaverton, Ore., flew east in early August for the camp’s week-long summer program outside of Charlottesville, specifically for children with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerve tissue.

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Carter Gray, and his sister Etta, were on a flight, chaperoned by a Frontier employee. Severe storms forced the plane to divert to Atlanta. Parents say they received a text message saying a Frontier employee would take them to a hotel to stay overnight .

They say no one contacted them after the plane carrying their children was diverted to Hartsfield-Jackson Ignash says an employee using a personal vehicle took the children to a hotel, where six kids from Ignash said if parents decide to let their children fly as an unaccompanied minor, they

It was a dream experience for Hudson — at least, until the return flight home via American Airlines, at which point Hudson’s mother says he and eight other unaccompanied minors from the camp were temporarily stranded, deprived of food and met with conditions so poor it’s made her son reluctant to fly again.

“I felt scared,” Hudson, who suffers from anxiety, said in an interview The Washington Post. “When the plane stopped moving, I was afraid I was never going to see my mom again.”

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The first plane arrived late for a layover in Charlotte, according to Hudson’s mother, Kristie Hoyt, and the children were rushed to their Portland flight without stopping for food. But then the second plane was stalled by a bevy of delays that were not communicated to the parents. First, fuel spilled on the tarmac. Then, she learned the airline needed to find replacements for the pilot and co-pilot, who had worked too many hours.

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The kids said they sat in a plane on the tarmac at one point for 5 hours before being escorted off the plane and into a room for unaccompanied minors The parents also claimed the airline didn’t help their kids charge their phones to contact their families were also rude when parents started calling

Airlines generally consider children between the ages of 5 and 14 who travel without a parent or guardian to be “ unaccompanied minors.” Upon arrival, your child will be escorted from the aircraft by an airline representative and released to the responsible adult named by you prior to departure.

When Hoyt asked for a direct phone number for someone with American Airlines who could keep her updated on the children’s situation, the mother claims she was denied. Updates only came after a 12-year-old in the group called her and gave the phone to a flight attendant. The airline never reached out to her directly, she says, even though she was listed as the contact for two children on the trip.

With their flight delayed until the next morning, the children’s’ problems only worsened inside the Charlotte airport. They stayed overnight in an unaccompanied minor room, where some of the kids had to sleep on the floor because there were not enough beds and furniture, Hoyt said. Hudson and his friends still hadn’t eaten a full meal since breakfast at camp that morning, and the vending machines inside didn’t work.

Some of the children on the flight required medication with a full meal to prevent seizures and migraines, she says.

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Kids aged 5 - 14 can fly alone with our unaccompanied minors service on most flights. A parent or designated accompanying adult must take the unaccompanied minor to the departure gate Instead, after they check in, an American Airlines representative will escort them to their gate and supervise

If parents or guardians prefer, they can also travel as an unaccompanied minor. Review the process to help your unaccompanied minor prepare for their flight. To book a reservation for an unaccompanied minor, you must contact Reservations at 800-325-8847 to ensure that the travel is

Furious parents say an airline held unaccompanied kids overnight without contacting them© Kristie Hoyt/Kristie Hoyt Ezra and Hudson Hoyt play at the beach in 2018. Hudson was caught in a 12-hour flight delay with American Airlines, according to his mother, Kristie Hoyt. Hudson and the other children he was flying with did not receive meals and their parents were not contacted by the airline, Hoyt says. (Kristie Hoyt)

Hoyt detailed the saga in a flurry of Facebook posts.

“American Airlines, how are you okay with leaving 9 unaccompanied children all with medical needs on a plane for over 5 hours and not giving their parents updates?” she wrote Friday night. “Or allowing the kids access to electricity to charge their phones to talk to their parents? You are disgraceful! And harming these children!”

After their overnight stay at the airport, Hoyt says the children were rushed onto a plane at about 6 a.m. Eastern Time. The children did not receive breakfast aboard the plane as promised, she said, even when the takeoff time was delayed again because “the catering service wasn’t delivered.” The confusion came to a head when the kids finally arrived in Portland and the mother was asked to sign for a child that was not hers.

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The "Main Contact " nominated by the Parent , Guardian or Responsible Adult on the unaccompanied minor travel document, must be available by telephone at any time without delay while If your child's itinerary includes any travel on an airline other than Qantas, including a connecting flight, you must

Airlines have dramatically varying policies and fees when it comes to children flying alone under the designation of an unaccompanied minor. All children will receive features like a trackable wristband, Sky Zone lounge for kids and a Delta personnel escort for your child throughout their travel day.

In all, Hoyt said the children went more than 24 hours without a full meal. In a 5 a.m. text from her son she later posted to Facebook, Hudson wrote: “[Our] plane has not take off yet I [have] not had lunch dinner or breakfast.”

After his adoption, Hudson has struggled with anxiety and abandonment issues, something his mother says they are working to overcome. She and other parents allege they were never contacted by the airline, even though American Airlines’ own policy requires staff to “call the contacts on the unaccompanied minor form” in the event of a delay or canceled flight.

Kelley Phillips, identified by KATU as another child on the plane, told the network she and her friends had “limited” access to the bathroom and were only provided with snacks.

“The only thing we had were crackers and soda, which isn’t good because we need real food to be able to take our medication,” Phillips said.

American Airlines issued a public statement of apology and attributed the overnight delay to a mechanical issue. It claimed the children were kept “safe and comfortable” in the care of airline personnel. “Our team is in the process of reaching out to the families involved and sincerely apologizes for this travel experience. We will be reviewing with our teams internally to understand how we can do better next time,” the airline wrote.

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Two unaccompanied children on a Frontier Airlines flight ended up stuck overnight in a hotel after They were only given Rice Krispies Treats and water, he said . “At least give them some “ They could have made sure the kids were comfortable and really reached out to make contact with the parents .”

The parents say they were not notified by the airline when the July 22 flight from Iowa to Florida was The parents say they were first informed as to what was happening when their son Carter Our records show that the children were in contact with their mother before being transported to the

Hudson, she said, wants to go back to camp but now has trepidation about flying. After meeting with a counselor Monday, however, they’ve narrowed that scope to American Airlines flights, specifically.

“We’re just trying to work through the trauma of it,” she said.

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