You may have seen in the news recently the story of a 6-year-old child who was flying Spirit as an unaccompanied minor. He was supposed to be flying from Philadelphia (PHL) to Fort Myers (RSW), but instead a Spirit gate agent escorted him to the wrong flight, causing him to instead fly to Orlando (MCO).
Unaccompanied 6-Year-Old Is Sent To The Wrong City
Earlier this month, a 6-year-old child named Casper was supposed to fly to visit his grandmother in Fort Myers, Florida, flying Spirit Airlines as an unaccompanied minor from Philadelphia. But when his grandmother arrived at the airport to pick him up, she found that he was not on the flight, even though his bag was. After an extended (and understandable!) panic, Casper called his grandmother from Orlando, where he had been mistakenly escorted. His grandmother had to drive 4 hours to Orlando to pick him up.
Spirit sent out a press release, saying
On Dec. 21, an unaccompanied child traveling from Philadelphia (PHL) to Fort Myers (RSW) was incorrectly boarded on a flight to Orlando (MCO). 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. 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.
What Happened To The Spirit Gate Agent
This came out a few days ago, and Spirit has just put out another press release on the issue, saying:
“To better understand what occurred, we immediately launched a thorough internal investigation and discovered that a gate agent in Philadelphia (PHL) escorted the child to the incorrect aircraft. This agent is no longer working with Spirit, and any individual whose actions resulted in the incorrect boarding will be held accountable for failing to follow our procedures. We are also reiterating our procedures to the team, and we are in communication with the child’s family about this matter.”
The Bottom Line
There’s no doubt that flying as an unaccompanied minor is a bit of an awkward and stressful situation. Even though you have to pay extra for this “service” (hundreds of dollars), it seems like it’s not infrequent that there are mishaps. I have never sent my kids as unaccompanied minors, but I worry about even my older kids when they are traveling alone. At least in this case, it seems that the child was not left alone at any point, which I guess is saying something! To me, it feels like termination was probably the correct outcome in this case.
What do you think of this situation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below
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