Delta mistakenly sent two unaccompanied minors to the wrong destinations, in what the airline is calling an unfortunate paperwork error. The Associated Press (AP) reports that “the children were connecting through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Tuesday when they were put on the wrong connecting flights because of a ‘paperwork swap.'” Both were traveling under the care of Delta’s unaccompanied minors program, and were supervised throughout the whole ordeal.
As a result, one of the children, a boy, ended up in Cleveland instead of Boston, and the other, a girl, ended up in Boston instead of Cleveland.
“It was just weird,” the boy told the AP. “I was like, ‘I’m supposed to be at Boston, not Cleveland.’ It was just weird.”
You’ve got to hand it to kids, though—they’re better than some adults at taking a disruption like this in stride. Here’s to the boy’s description of Delta’s treatment of him, from the AP: “[They said] ‘Sorry for leaving you here when you’re really supposed to be in Boston.’ It was kind of nice. They gave me some free food and some Dunkin’ Donuts.”
Nothing a donut can’t fix.
But mistakes like this shouldn’t really happen. The whole point of an unaccompanied minors program is to ensure young kids get from point A to point B. How could the airline mix up two opposite-gender children is sort of baffling and, for the kids’ family, more than a little frustrating. “We’re paying them to check on him and be with him,” the boy’s grandfather told Boston-area TV station WHDH. “They just threw him in the plane like anybody else; they didn’t even ask his name to match the paperwork.”
Delta, for its part, flew the kids to their proper destinations at no additional cost, will issue a refund for the flight, and provided credits toward future flights. Of course, this isn’t the first case of mixed-up unaccompanied minors.
Readers, have you ever put your children on a plane by themselves? If not, why not? If you don’t have kids, would you consider it when you do?