Girl, 10, left stranded in O'Hare Airport for FOUR HOURS after United worker 'forgets' ...

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Mike, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Aren't the flight attendants supposed to hand UM's & their paperwork off to someone?

    Somebody's head should be rolling for this. There should be a "chain of custody" starting with the flight attendants on her last flight. Where that chain ends, the headsman should go to work.
  3. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    "fly the friendly go-to-(expletive deleted) skies with United"
    child endangerment. contact a lawyer.
  4. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Damn good thing it wasn't Philadelphia what with the TSA Defrocked Priest who has a thing for young girls.
  5. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I don't know all the details -- none of us do -- obviously, but I have to ask why the (expletive deleted) parents would pack their 10-year-child off alone. Hello??? The father is a Stanford prof. And she was going to camp. We're not talking poor people here who had no other choice. Strikes me as negligent parenting.
  6. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I traveled from LAX to DAL alone when I was just a bit older than this girl. The airline made sure I was accounted for, seated, off loaded, and properly delivered at the end of trip. Back then there was no additional charges for what was then normal customer service. Times have change but a child flying alone is not an abnormal process. The parents paid an unaccompanied child fee to the airline. The airline had an obligation to care for that child until delivered safely at the end of her trip. The airline failed, not the parents, and the airline should be heavily penalized for this failure.

    The only thing I question is the choice, if it was one, of a flight that had a plane change en route. May have been no other choice.
  7. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    My daughter used to fly in to see me unaccompanied, they had the physical transfer in place for me (named recipient/guardian with ID required at pick up). Personally, we always made it a direct flight so we didn't have to worry about transferring planes unless there was some complication. It cost us extra, and it was a bit of a pain sometimes (airline staff not available until the plane was boarded happened a couple of times), but I always had a positive experience with the airlines helping us and making certain she was accounted for and we had to show ID to pick her up. I am not certain what happened in this case, but it certainly sounds like there was enough blame to go around. If the parents made arrangements with the airline for the child to fly unaccompanied with the airlines (additional charges and paperwork completed), they have a reasonable expectation that the child would not be allowed to roam around the airport unattended, and that the child would make the connecting flight without much trouble. So it sounds like the airline may have dropped the ball completely on this one.
  8. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Of course the airline was negligent. I'm not denying that. I'm saying the parents are as well.

    If you're teaching at Stanford, and if you can afford to send your daughter to another state for camp, you aren't hurting financially. Unless this was an emergency of some kind, which I doubt, it sounds like another case of overprivileged parents who think of their children more as status symbols than human beings.

    I think it's nuts to send a kid of that age off alone. Especially when she had to change flights!
  9. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    That was our take on it. There's no way we send our kid by herself at 10 years old anywhere. Not even to grandparents, much less to some camp. Even on a direct flight there be letches, and these kids aren't prepared for it. Still, it bothers me that the flight attendants who knew she was alone did not help this abandoned kid. Each and every one of them should be fired.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  10. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    That's not a practical suggestion for many families, Stanford professors or not. To accompany the kid each way, you're looking at two round-trip tickets, most likely with overnight hotel accommodations, possible car rentals, cab fares, etc. Depending on the fare rules for the route in question, each of the parent's fares might be much higher with a next day return than the fare for the kid returning at least a week or two later.
  11. FetePerfection

    FetePerfection Founding Member Coach

    What's the value of a child if the unthinkable occurred?
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  12. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Would the value be different if the airplane had just crash?
  13. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I'm sorry, all this back-and-forth strikes me as insane.

    If you can afford to send your kid to camp, especially a far-away camp that requires not one, but two flights, you can afford to:

    A) go with him/her;

    B) skip it altogether.

    Nobody in my family or indeed my circle ever went to camp growing up. I never even heard of kids going away to camp until I went to college. Nobody I knew could afford it. It didn't hurt us to grow up riding our bikes, playing softball, playing hide-and-seek, playing whatever, close to -- gasp! -- home. We didn't grow up psychologically stunted or emotionally scarred because we didn't go to camp.

    These people sent their 10-year-old daughter off to navigate airports and airplanes alone. Insane. Insane.
  14. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Does not compute. What does this mean?
  15. RB

    RB Founding Member

    You asked the value of the child if the unthinkable happened. I am asking if the means of the unthinkable has any bearing on value.
  16. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I still don't understand.

    Any of us can be killed in an accident of any kind at almost any moment. In a car crash, in a plane crash, falling down the stairs. It's sad when anyone is killed in any accident. What does that have to do with taking responsibility for your child?
  17. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Yes, any of us can be killed at any moment, but that has no bearing on this child's travel since an accident could have come from many directions.

    The parents relied upon standing airline policy for transporting children traveling alone. I don't see any dereliction committed by the parents.

    You also suggested letting the kid spend the time at home, riding bikes and other such activities which are surely more hazardous than flying alone. Would the parents be at fault if the accident happened at home? Circumstances would certainly lead us to a conclusion.

    The parents did nothing wrong. They complied with the travel scheme put in place by the airlines and I would bet they thought their child would be cared for in an appropriate manner. I suspect they no longer believe such and would make other arrangements to transport their child in the future. It is solely the airline that has to shoulder the blame in this case. The airline is responsible for their performance and the performance of anyone else hired to complete the airlines responsibilities in this matter.
    KrazyKat and Mike like this.
  18. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    This is my last stab at this:

    To repeat, yes, the airline was negligent. And the parents were irresponsible.
    FetePerfection likes this.
  19. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I agree the airline was negligent but do not believe the parents were irresponsible for the reasons earlier stated.
    KrazyKat likes this.
  20. Deborah Newell Tornello

    Deborah Newell Tornello Original Member

    I have three sons, two of whom are very bright--if terribly scatterbrained--one of whom is both responsible *and* scary-smart (able to do complex calculus in his head at age 14). And there is no way I'd had put any one of them on an airplane by himself at age ten! The parents are not just irresponsible, they're living in a dream world if they think air travel is innocent, simple, and straightforward, and that airline personnel are caring and customer-oriented--it hasn't been that way for decades. I totally agree with Lisa.

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