Source: YouTube

 

An unaccompanied child traveling from Philadelphia to Fort Myers was “incorrectly boarded” onto a plane to Orlando, a Spirit Airlines spokesman said Sunday. The two cities in Florida are about 160 miles apart.

Spirit did not provide additional details about the child or how the mistake on Thursday was made, but the airline’s spokesperson did say an internal investigation was underway.

“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,” the airline spokesperson said.

CBS affiliate WINK-TV identified the child as a 6-year-old boy visiting his grandmother, Maria Ramos. The flight was his first time on a plane, Ramos told WINK-TV.

“They told me, ‘No, he’s not on this flight. He missed his flight.’ I said, ‘No, he could not miss his flight because I have the check-in tag,'” Ramos said. “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 later got a call from her grandson, saying he’d landed several hours away from Fort Myers, WINK-TV reported. While the boy landed in Orlando, his luggage made it to Fort Myers.

A Spirit Airlines spokesperson said the company apologized to the family, but Ramos said she wants answers.

“I want them to call me,” she told WINK-TV. “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?”

Unaccompanied minors have traveled on incorrect flights in the past. In 2019, a boy was put on a United Airlines flight to Germany when he was supposed to be headed to Sweden. In 2009, two different unaccompanied girls — ages 8 and 10 —  were placed on wrong Continental Express flights. The airline blamed “miscommunication among staff.”

The list of misdirected passengers goes beyond children. United Airlines mistakenly flew a Kansas-bound German shepherd to Japan in 2018. The airline also diverted a 2018 flight from Newark to St. Louis after crew members realized they had loaded a dog into the cargo who was meant to be going to Akron, Ohio.

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