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27 Dec, 2023 11:07

Airline puts six-year-old on wrong flight

The child, who traveled alone, ended up some 160 miles from his intended US destination, Spirit Airlines said
Airline puts six-year-old on wrong flight

A six-year-old boy, who was traveling alone to visit his grandmother for the Christmas holidays, was put on the wrong flight, American low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has acknowledged.

A boy named Casper was also heading to Florida from Philadelphia last week, but somehow got sent by the airline to the wrong city.

His grandmother Maria Ramos, who had been waiting for him at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, told WINK News that she was shocked after being told that the child was not on the Spirit Airlines flight. His luggage had arrived, but not the child.

“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?’ She said, ‘No, I had no kids with me,'” Ramos recalled.

The story bears some similarities with ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’. In the 1992 comedy, the character played by Macaulay Culkin is separated from his family at the airport, and ends up arriving in New York instead of Miami.

Fortunately, Casper was able to call his grandmother, and told her he had landed. He was in fact at Orlando airport, some 160 miles (260km) north-east of Fort Myers.

Ramos said Spirit Airlines offered to reimburse her drive to Orlando to pick her grandson. But, according to the woman, what she really wanted was answers. “I want them to call me. Let me know how my grandson ended up in Orlando. 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?” she asked.

Spirit Airlines confirmed on Saturday that on December 21 “an unaccompanied child traveling from Philadelphia to Fort Myers was incorrectly boarded on a flight to Orlando.” It insisted that the boy “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.”

The incident is now being investigated, the carrier said, adding: “we apologize to the family for this experience.”