JetBlue Offered $10K to Mom of Unaccompanied Minor on Wrong Flight


Last week I wrote about JetBlue putting two unaccompanied minors on the wrong flight.

A mistake like this is pretty much guaranteed to have the kids scared and the families freaking out.

JetBlue tried to make right by one of the moms by refunding her $475 for the flight while also offering $2,100 in credits good towards future flights. The flight  credit offer was turned down.

I don’t know what the laws are, but could the airline be looking at some legal issues due to the kiddie mix-up?

The mom, Maribel Martinez hired a lawyer Sanford Rubenstein to represent her.

I’m still trying to figure out what exactly Martinez is suing for! However, the Daily News reports that the airline offered “her a “gift” of $10,000 without consulting the lawyer“.

A couple of days after her son was briefly lost, Martinez randomly received a call from JetBlue. A supervisor named Joanne called- she spoke English while another employee translated into Spanish.

The supervisor apologized and mentioned how she was also a mother. The airline allegedly offered a gift of $10,000 for what took place.

Once Martinez heard the word gift in Spanish (regalo), she stopped the conversation, mentioning that she had a lawyer and to contact him.

Martinez’s attorney felt that JetBlue was being sneaky, “trying to get his client to sign a document releasing the airline from any damages to her or Andy in exchange for the payoff“.

A letter was then sent to JetBlue’s general counsel, telling them to not contact Martinez again. I found it strange that JetBlue’s counsel was named Joanne (Geraghty). Was JetBlue’ lawyer the alleged supervisor who offered $10,000 to Martinez?

Find out more from the Daily News here.

13 thoughts on “JetBlue Offered $10K to Mom of Unaccompanied Minor on Wrong Flight

  1. 10,000 was more than enough, if I’m in the jury she’d get half that at most, and if i knew she turned that down, she’d probably get the cost of the ticket only.

    1. If they are offering her 10000 right off the bat u better believe they are gonna pay more than that. The fact they offered her a pay off means they are scared they will lose more. This was basically hush money so they don’t get a bad name for u know losing brown babies.

  2. Lyndon- Not according to the article where I read about the story.

    Scott- I can’t disagree here. The kid wasn’t hurt so I can’t imagine how much she really thinks that she deserves…

    1. I would expect more than 10000 for losing my kid then telling me that u found him only its not him it’s some other brown kid we also lost. Suing for emotional distress of losing her kid and also for the airline being negligent and losing 2 5 year olds.

  3. Raul- I don’t know, $10,000 seems pretty fair for a mistake. The kids were briefly lost but always in the care of JetBlue employees according to reports. And let’s leave race out of this. Does it really matter what color the kids are?

  4. I am a father of two children and personally, I wouldn’t give my child to a stranger and hope the best. I can imagine how the parents must have felt when the airline showed up with the wrong kid.

    However, I am sick of this culture of suing the crap out of to gain often ridiculous financial benefits from mistakes, misfortunes, and accidents. Blaming the parents less than the attorneys who probably jumped on this case like rats on a dead pigeon.

    Most unethical ads I’ve seen in my life are those ‘You had a miscarriage? We’ll get you millions of dollars’.

  5. The airline took $100 of the ladies money to take care of her kid and they blew it. If they carry the case to trial, even if the award were a mere $10,000, they’ll pay her lawyer and their lawyer, and that will probably bring the cost into the $100,000 range. Even worse, there will be incredibly appalling publicity surfacing now and then potentially for years.

    The fact that two brown kids were involved means there is the possibility that the airline didn’t give the same standard of care to these kids as they do to white kids. Like it or not, the issue is there. Brown people on the jury will probably take note.

    Settling for $50,000 would be an amazing bargain.

  6. Rene- Totally agree about the suing . I think JetBlue made a fair offer in light of the situation.

    Bob Unferth- I think you make a good point about JetBlue having to pay lawyer fees if they lose. I just don’t see what took place as being worthy of giving the mom a $50K gift. How come we’ve heard nothing from the family of the other child? Are they not emotionally distressed too?

    Can’t imagine the publicity really hurting the airline much. Why does color of skin have to always be involved? How do you know they don’t give the same level of care to all kids? I highly doubt skin color had to do with the mixup.

  7. Michael wrote: “Why does color of skin have to always be involved?” It’s the nature of humans; people identify and emphasize with their own. But you knew that already. Plus, you can’t exclude people from a jury based on race.

    If one were a cynic, one might imagine that the other family was conned into accepting the $10K and signing a non-disclosure agreement. Which might explain why we haven’t heard from them.

    And I really can’t imagine any airline wanting to bask in this kind of publicity in your face on the front page of tabloids. It really is a myth that the only bad publicity is no publicity.

  8. Bob- Not getting your point. Once again, what difference does the kid’s color make? Does JetBlue treat kids better or worse based on this? I’d say no chance. The other family has never been mentioned- not when JetBlue offered $2,000+ in airline credits or now so it doesn’t sound like they were conned. And again, obviously this isn’t a positive story for the airline, but will it really hurt their business or overall image- my guess is not at all.

    1. Michael wrote, “what difference does the kid’s color make?” Try telling that to the brown guy or gal on the jury. He or especially young mother she might have a very different view. Jet Blue’s lawyers would be wise to figure either one will not be sympathetic. Maybe the same for young mothers, but I don’t think they are a protected class.

      Michael wrote, “The other family has never been mentioned…” Now they wouldn’t be mentioned if they signed a non-disclosure agreement, and Jet Blue is sure not going to bring them up.

  9. Bob- So if this happened to a white kid then it would’ve been better? Once again, the color/ race is irrelevant IMO. And you’re assuming the other family made a deal + signed a non-disclosure. They’ve still yet to be mentioned. They probably just see it as the mistake it was and not an excuse to capitalize with a ridiculous lawsuit.

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