Rule of thumb: If your kids are stupid...

If your kids are stupid…
Don’t leave them alone on a plane.
I’m talking about talking about this. I personally believe the Airline is NOT at all responsible for this incident and it is ENTIRELY the fault of the parents and their stupid children. Ok, yes, they are kids, but do you expect me to believe that an 11 year old kid doesn’t know where she lives? Let’s see: Ontario or San Diego. I think her little (8 year-old) sister can figure this one out. Ok, maybe it not the kids’ fault, perhaps the parents didn’t inform them what plane to take. It SURE as HELL isn’t the airline’s fault.
And now the mother wants free airline tickets forever. Damnit, lady, you should be paying American West for their trouble.

Doesn’t necessarily mean the kids are stupid. Airports are pretty scary places, sometimes even for adults. I’ve gotten lost myself before because of the sheer size of some of the airports. Also, people in airports are there to travel, they aren’t always the friendliest people around. If this were a one time incident I’d say don’t be so hard on the airlines, but geesh it was the third time.
I’d have a problem letting my child fly alone. But sometimes it can’t be helped and if everyone follows up correctly things like this shouldn’t happen.

Frankly, I don’t think children should be allowed to fly at all sans parent or guardian. Hell, they’re not even supposed to be able to get into a damned R-rated movie without an adult. To send them off hundreds of miles supervised only by airline employees you’ve never met, and have a hundred other things to do, is just asking for trouble.

The thing is, UncleBeer, is that the airline offers “baysitting” as a complentary service–it’s not a casual favor that the parents privately arrange between themselves and the airlines, but rather a very formalized procedure. If the airlines are going to claim that they are happy to take responsibility for minors in ordre to get your business, then they should honor that claim.

I don’t know what the arrangements are that this particular airline offers, but my 13 year old nephew recently came to visit my parents and the airline he flew (I think it was Northwest) required a $75 fee each way for him to be escorted. There was paperwork required on both sides, and the person picking him up had to sign for him and show proper ID. He was escorted from the gate directly to his seat, then retrieved from his seat and escorted to his next flight, etc. until he arrived at his destination, where my mother had to accept custody. At no time was he anywhere alone, no chance for him to be abandoned in a strange place.

I don’t blame the parents. As someone else pointed out, airline travel can be scary and stressful for an adult, let alone an 11 year old child. The parents entrusted their children to whatever arrangement the airline offered, and the airline failed in their responsibility to fulfill their obligation to supervise the children from the beginning of their trip right through the end. How hard is it to put a child on the right plane?

And for the record, I think the woman who thinks she’s entitled to free lifetime airfare over this mistake is a total goon. Although nerve-wracking and inconvenient, there was no harm done, and the airline did do everything in their power (albeit after making the original error) to correct their mistake.

How can you call these children stupid? Don’t you remember what it was like to be 11? Did you ever fly anywhere by yourself at that age?

The airline employees are supposed to make sure unattended children get to their connecting flight. It is not up to the child to check the flight numbers and then tell the employee that it is the wrong flight. How would a child know that they were being put on the wrong flight? The child would trust the person in authority to direct them to the correct plane.

I flew unaccompanied as a child (well, I was only accompanied by my younger sisters). The flight attendant handed us of to an employee who was waiting at the gate. We were then taken directly to our connecting flight. I had never been in an airport before and wouldn’t have even known where to look for flight information even if I had thought to error check the employee.

Please…I started flying by mtself when I was 6. I never got off of a plane in the wrong state! Maybe I was smarter than the average 6 yr old, or maybe I had better flight attendants than these kids…whatever. Gott agree with the OP, keep your stupid kids at home. In a barrel. Out of the public view. Drop in some food every so often.
The responsibility lies with the parents on this one. If your kid is too stupid or cowardly to ride a plane from one place to another, don’t let them do it! Write them a not in their pocket that tells them where the hell they are from!

–==the sax man==–

Baysitting… isn’t that what Otis Redding sang about? :slight_smile:

I was not aware of that Manda JO. Consider my comments retracted. Thank you.

I wasn’t aware of this situation. I guess the natural follow up question would be did the parents take advantage of this by enrolling their childern in the “babysitting” service or did they just send them there in the hopes that the airline would take care of it?

Secondarily, how did they manage to get on the wrong plane? Didn’t the airline check their tickets before they boarded?

Yeah, I did. Actually I started flying alone when I was 4. My mom had me lie about my age. I did it every year. AZ to NY every winter for christmas with grandparents, and AZ - FL - NY - AZ every summer to visit my dad and my granparents. Always with connections, often with layovers. I did this until I was 16. I don’t remember flying WITH my mom until I was an adult. I’ve never flown with my dad or a grandparent (except when my dad was flying, but a 2 seater airplane is a bit different). By the time I was 10 I could tell you what airport we were at by the wallpaper. Literally. Except that Tucson and Atlanta had the same tan paper with city names written on it… but they were obvious enough that they’d be hard to confuse with each other.

Actually when I was 11 specifically, I remember my dad had gotten an ultra cheap ticked for me from AZ to FL that had an 8 hour layover in Chicago. The airline I was flying on didn’t want to deal with me for that long, so I was on my own in O’Hare… actually not alone, I had my pet frog with me in a 2 litre bottle (one of those never-goes-on-land frogs)… I went to the food court and got some food, then went to a different airline and asked them if they had somewhere I could stay, since it was nighttime and a little creepy. They let me hang out in the pilot’s lounge watching tv. When it was time for me to get my flight, I said good bye and found my gate.

When I was younger I was USUALLY walked to my gate but not always. Sometimes I was just told where to go. And no one ever signed for me or showed ID to pick me up, I just ran over to my dad/grandparents/mom and left.

The procedure for flying unacompanied is very specific. They don’t just “send them in”.

Consider the personal experience of a 14 year old…

When I was 14, that is.
I was flying to Pensacola Beach to visit a friend of mine. The cutoff age for an unaccompanied minor on Continental Airlines is 15 years old, and I was no more then 9 days from my birthday. Because I was legally unable to transport myself from one plane to the other on my connecting flight in DFW, I was required to pay $150, and wear a bright red button on my shirt. Now, I was pretty smart for your average 14 year old, and felt that I was quite capable of doing this by myself. But the airlines felt differently, so I had to wait on the plane until everyone else left, wait for a flight attendant to come get me, hand me to someone else, get my ticket and boarding pass, walk me down the hall to the moniters, get lost 3 times, “Hey Julie, do you know where flight 3340 is? No? Me either”. I was meanwhile carrying all of my belongings with me, while this dipshit of an employee walked me around the entire airport. Finally we find out where my flight is, run over there, and surprise! It’s already taken off!
I really don’t think that if you work in an airport, you should get lost that easily. I could tell where the moniters were just fine, but every time I tried to say something, it was “Oh hush child, I’ll find it”. GRRRR
Well apparantly, the only other connecting flight to Pensacola didn’t leave for another 6 hours. I couldn’t wait and look in the shops or get something to eat, instead, they take me to this out of the way room with a couch, some pillows, a chair, a tv and 3 babysitters. They sat and talked on the phone the entire time. When they asked me if I needed to call my parents, I took advantage of it. I called my parents in Colorado Springs, the people who I was going to visit in Pensacola, and Georgia, and called my boyfriend back home. I figured it was the least they owed me for causing me to be 7 hours late getting in.
After that I got as many pillows and blankets as were in the closet, curled up on the couch and tried to sleep.

In my opinion, the airport is not very hard to navigate, even for a kid. At 14 I could have done a better job than an employee of the airport did. I agree with the OP, if your kids are stupid, don’t leave them on a plane. Their intelligence should definitely be taken into consideration when you’re flying them cross-country. It is the fault of the airlines, but minimally, and surely doesn’t deserve lifetime plane tickets. They made a mistake, big deal. Nobody was hurt, so don’t threaten to sue because they “lost your prescious kids”. In my opinion you would be better off with new ones anyway.

I dunno, Mrs.darian’s 7-year old nephew got from Anaheim California to San Antonio TX okay by himself.

[sub]not that I don’t wish he’d gotten lost or eaten…
okay, now I really know I’m going to hell[/sub]

The “free tickets for life” thing really turned me off. Of course, the way that the article presented the statement may have lent it more significance than the mother intended - but IMO it’s distasteful to see somebody instantly equating a mildly traumatic experience with big dollars.

And if the company were so irresponsible with her children, why would the mother want free tickets for life anyway? :rolleyes:

Maybe she hopes they’ll lose them for good this time? (Did I say that out loud?) :eek:


Fuck that. Carry on.

It also seems like, from the article, this isn’t the first time such a thing happened.

Please. Airlines to a little kid can be pretty scary. Hell, I’m 23 and I still have to watch that I don’t get lost in downtown Pittsburgh.

I’m very happy for all of you who were genius children, flying since you were fetuses (fetusi?), and whou would have spoken right up if an attendant put you on the wrong plane. I sincerely believe you were not the average child. Also, it seems none of you were led to the wrong flight by an attendant. Do you think you would have spoken up? I can tell the answer will already be yes. Again, I concede you were genius children who the rest of us can only admire.

I believe I was a fairly bright child. However, I was very trusting of people in authority. The first few time I flew, I didn’t know they listed flights on monitors. I also would have gotten on just about any plane the person in the uniform lead me too. And yes, I did know where I was from and where I was going. And yes, I always made it there fine.

…and yes I realize there are several spelling and grammatical errors in that last post.

who --not whou

led–not lead