I’ve been asked from time to time if Kim and I would let Lucas fly at a young age as an unaccompanied minor. I’m usually quick to brush off the question with a definite no.
Even though Lucas is an experienced traveler, I can’t imagine a scenario where it would be important enough to have him fly alone, especially not at close to five years old.
The Daily News reports that ” A 5-year-old returning home alone from a family visit in the Dominican Republic was placed on the wrong flight,” by JetBlue.
The boy, who lives in Manhattan ended up a couple of hundred miles away in Boston while his mom was waiting for him at JFK Airport.
Maribel Martinez told the Daily News that she “thought he was kidnapped and never see him again“. The article mentions that “she lost her mind while it took more three hours” to figure out where her son, Andy Martinez Mercado was.
To make matters worse, the JetBlue staff brought Martinez a different 5 year-old boy who they thought was her son.
The boy brought to Martinez had her son Andy’s passport and belonged on the flight to Boston.
Martinez has lawyered-up and plans to sue “JetBlue for their negligence, which caused her family so much emotional distress this summer“.
Some background on the boy Andy’s trip:
Andy flew with his mom to the Dominican Republic on July 28. His mom stayed one week before heading back home, leaving Andy with family. She bought a return ticket for Andy to fly back on August 17, paying the unaccompanied minor fee of $100.
Andy was supposed to arrive in NYC just before 8 AM on August 17. When he didn’t show up at JFK, the airline eventually figured out that he was sent on the wrong plane to Boston. After speaking to his mom, JetBlue put the boy on the next flight to JFK, getting him home on the same day.
In a statement, JetBlue basically said how the two unaccompanied minors who are the same age got mixed up and sent on the wrong flights but were still always being supervised by airline staff.
Martinez (Andy’s mom) says that the airline never apologized or explained how this mistake even happened.
However, JetBlue did try to make things right by refunding $475 for the flight as well as giving $2,100 in credits for future flights. The Daily News reports that “Martinez says that they will never use JetBlue again“.
Would you let a young child fly alone as an unaccompanied minor? In my opinion, 5 years old is a bit young to consider this.
Find out more from the Daily News here.