Child’s Fouled-Up Flight

May 25, 2009

in Baby & Kid Stories

About 12 years ago, when I was 12, I was excited to venture off on my own, and fly to the wondrous, cold world of Minneapolis, MN.

Now, we’re not talking long flights, or complicated flights… BWI to Chicago to Minneapolis. Easy enough! But apparently not easy enough for everyone.

My mom booked the flight, and my aunt was to be awaiting my arrival for my visit, a few hours later in Minneapolis. My mom put me on the first flight, and had arranged for someone from TWA to pick me up at my gate and graciously deliver me to my next gate. Apparently a quite capable 12 year old can’t handle herself.

The first flight was nice, as an “unescorted minor” I got all sorts of free goodies, pins, and junk. We arrived at the airport in Chicago, I even got to be first off the plane! The young woman who was sent to escort me looked at me, grabbed my hand, and told me to start running. Now I was a little bit confused, as I knew I had at least an hour and a half to two hours between my arrival in Chicago and the departure of my plane to MN. But, I was young, naïve and went along with it. We ran through the terminal to an empty desk with no flight information listed on it, and nothing signifying where the plane was headed (see where this is going?). She dragged me down the corridor, put me in a seat and left.

After getting settled, and getting a drink, they made the announcement as to how long it would be until we arrived in…St Louis! I thought that odd, and asked the really nice older woman next to me if by chance the plane had a stopover in Minneapolis, seeing as how, that was where I was supposed to be going. She looked at me oddly, and told me that no, the plane was going directly to St Louis, and called the attendant over to tell them I was on the wrong plane. The flight attendant studied my boarding pass long and hard and asked how I’d gotten on the plane, and frowned when I told her I had an escort.

We got into St Louis, and TWA held me at the desk there. I had no access to a phone, no way to get a hold of my parents or my aunt. They then told me they couldn’t get me to Minneapolis, and would have to fly me back to Chicago and put me on a plane the next morning.

I flew back to Chicago, first class (the only time), with the flight attendants based out of there. Then I got taken to the security office, where an old woman, who smoked and just plain smelled bad, was put in charge of me. She then escorted me (AND STAYED WITH ME) to a hotel where I finally got to talk to my mother and my aunt (they had no idea what was going on, TWA hadn’t called them, or notified anyone I wasn’t where I was supposed to be). We got to the hotel at about 2 am, and all I had were the clothes on my back. I had to wake up at 5 am to board a plane at 6:30 am, to finally make it to my destination, a good 12 hours late.

The only good thing? My luggage was waiting for me.

We didn’t even get offered compensation.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

MJ May 5, 2009 at 7:03 am

This is unbelievably negligent.


Trish May 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Compensation? You should have taken them to court for endangering the welfare of a minor or whatever it's called. This story is by far the worst (best, most shocking, you know what I mean) because it's absolutely terrifying for all parties – particularly the child and her family!!!


Roto13 May 18, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Wow. If I had been your parent, you could be damn sure there would have been hell to pay.


Anomia May 21, 2009 at 6:44 am

If I were your mother, they would have heard the screaming in all 50 states and Canada, honey. And quite a few employees would have additional orifices they hadn't had before. Thank goodness you made it safely!


Atari May 30, 2009 at 10:39 pm

I don't comprehend.

The designated caretaker just decided to completely neglect her duty?

"Oh, I don't feel like it. Why don't I just send you on a direct flight to a completely different place? I'm sure everything will work out, but I just want to go home despite my charge."

It just– it baffles me. Where are the DETAILS in this? Why didn't anyone get Miss Neglect arrested or fined or yelled at or SOMETHING?


Kara June 8, 2009 at 2:44 pm

I would have tore the airline a new anal opening if this happened to my child. Someone's head should have rolled over this. If this had happened nowadays, it would be all over CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc.


kurt June 10, 2009 at 3:29 am

what the fuck was that flight addentent thinking. if you were my kid I would found that dumbass and…

…can't really say that outloud.


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