They Lost My Son!

November 24, 2009

in Odds & Ends Stories

My son flew from New England to North Carolina on Continental. He was 13 at the time. I paid $15.00 to book the flight by phone (you can’t do it online) and $100.00 extra for Continental to take him on and off the plane.

 When the plane landed in NC, my son did as he had been told – he waited for a flight attendant to come and escort him off the plane and stay with him until his party met him. My son had no paperwork or tickets, the airline had those per their instructions. So my son waits and waits. Finally, everyone is off the plane and the flight attendant comes and tells my son he has to get of the plane. So my son exits the plane alone. He gets out to the terminal, the door shuts behind him. No one there. Fortunately I had given him a cell phone. He calls me and I’m able to walk him to the person meeting him.

I tried calling Continental and got an answering machine. I called the FAA emergency hotline and within an hour I had a call from Continental. Despite complaints to Continental I had to fight to get my $100.00 back. Even the TV stations that covered the story couldn’t get a comment from Continental. They never apologized.

On top of this, we discovered later that Continental had no record of him in their computer which explained why the party meeting him was unable to get a pass to go to the gate. So using two phone lines, one to my son, the other to the party, I was able to get my son safe.

Don’t count on the airline to get anything right. Give your child a cell phone!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

david November 25, 2009 at 10:11 am

highly unbelievable….answer machine? and they called you an hour after you called the FAA hotline thats just bs


D-Money November 25, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Even if you don’t believe this story, Continental reportedly has misplaced minors before.


david November 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm

i know that they have, but for a response so quickly like that, and getting an answer machine, never heard of that

never in my life have i ever called an airline and got, we are unavailable to answer the call at this time, please leave a detailed message after the beep BEEP……they put you on hold, after they go through the electronic pain in the a$$ system (press 5 for an option that you dont care about)

would continental get back to you about this kinda situation? yes, would they do it so soon after the OP called FAA? most likely not as they arent exactly the fastest


theblackdog December 4, 2009 at 10:53 am

I call shenanigans on this story. The OP probably took one of the stories about Continental misplacing a kid that was reported in the media and made up their own details about it.


Kad December 15, 2009 at 5:02 pm

How old is this so-called 'story'? Can't do it online? I regularly track my fiance's flights to and from Toronto-Houston. Book flights….I even called Continental once when their real-time tracking system told me her flight was delayed/cancelled/delayed for 3 hours. Nothing like waiting at YYZ not knowing what's happening except for what the board says….Anyways. I waited for a while but spoke to a real, live person.

Maybe they put the answering machine away that day. Who knows.

I'm pretty sure most airlines have a hard time dealing with unescorted minors. Let's face it, you're trusting a child to strangers who may or may not have slept recently, who may not care, or who may simply forget, in the rush to sell single-serving scotch and dole out stale bread and laboratory-designed butter, that there is a quiet little person to babysit.

As to the Continental computer system. I call fail on your story. It is updated in real time and is surprisingly accurate, almost to a fault.

Next time you want to send your little brat somewhere, go with him if you are so concerned about it. The rest of the world isn't your babysitter, even though $100 does seem like a really good deal on crappy babysitting services.


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