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Holiday Nightmare: Spirit Airlines Sends Unaccompanied Six-Year-Old On a Solo Trip to Wrong Airport

Holiday Nightmare: Spirit Airlines Sends Unaccompanied Six-Year-Old On a Solo Trip to Wrong Airport

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Spirit Airlines accidentally sent a six-year-old child to the wrong airport, leaving the boy’s grandmother in a spin as she tried to work out what had happened to her grandson.

Maria Ramos was excited to have her Casper with her in Southwest Florida for the Holidays, but that excitement quickly turned to horror as she waited for Casper to emerge from the plane.

Casper boarded his first-ever flight in Philadelphia on Thursday, but instead of ending up at Southwest Florida International Airport as intended, Spirit Airlines accidentally sent him to Orlando International Airport, 166 miles north of where his grandmother was waiting to collect him.

Ramos was waiting at the gate to collect Casper, but after everyone had deplaned, she realized he was nowhere to be seen.

“They told me, ‘No, he’s not on this flight. He missed his flight,'” Ramos recounted to WINK news.

“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 was sent into a spin only to then receive a call from Casper to tell her that he had just landed. It transpired that Casper was in Orlando, and Ramos was sent on a four-hour drive to pick him up.

Spirit has offered to reimburse the cost of gas to collect Casper but hasn’t yet told the distraught grandmother how he ended up on the wrong plane in the first place.

The low-cost carrier insists, however, that Casper was safe at all times and remained in the care of a Spirit team member throughout his journey.

“On Dec. 21, an unaccompanied child traveling from Philadelphia (PHL) to Fort Myers (RSW) was incorrectly boarded on a flight to Orlando (MCO),” a spokesperson for Spirit explained in a statement.

“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 statement continued.

“We take the safety and responsibility of transporting all of our Guests seriously and are conducting an internal investigation. We apologize to the family for this experience.”

Last year, American Airlines accidentally sent a 12-year-old unaccompanied boy to the wrong state after a telephone reservations agent booked a ticket for Columbus, Ohio, rather than Columbus, Georgia, where the boy was meant to be flying to.

Just a month before that incident, American Airlines was accused of losing a 12-year-old child at Miami International Airport after flight attendants waved her off a plane without a parent or guardian.

TOTH: View from the Wing

View Comments (3)
  • No big deal. The kid was smart enough to call saying he landed. He was never in danger of death or injury. He was supervised. Spirit should have sent him in a taxi with an airline employee but maybe the Grandma wanted to drive?

    • No Big Deal…Really?
      Spirit should have immediately taken steps to transport the child to the grandmother’s location, not her having to drive.
      She may have wanted to drive apparently because no offer from Spirit was made to transport the child..
      In addition to the reimbursement for the “gas”, the flight cost should be refunded, and the associates involved should be thoroughly reprimanded and retrained. NOT fired but the incident should be on their employment record.

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