Airline Petrifies Parents Over Child Swap Mishap


It’s unimaginably stressful having to fly your child without your parental presence with them. Placing your trust in the airline to safely transport your unaccompanied minor is a daunting, risky task. For Maribel Martinez, it was a total nightmare.

Martinez traveled to JFK Airport in New York on August 17 expecting to be greeted by her five-year-old son Andy, who was returning from a family visit in the Dominican Republic. The heartwarming reunion soon turned sour and panic driven when she was presented with another five-year-old boy who was not her son. Instead of arriving to New York, Andy ended up in Boston – 214 miles (344km) away from his home.

The fault for the child mix-up lies on JetBlue, which confused Martinez’s son with another boy of the same age. Thankfully, after a worrisome and frantic phone call to her son, Martinez was reunited with her son when he was placed on another JetBlue flight to New York that same day. After refunding Martinez and giving her a $2,100 credit for the mishap, JetBlue released the following statement:

“Two unaccompanied children of the same age traveling separately from Santiago, Dominican Republic – one to New York JFK and one to Boston — each boarded a flight to the incorrect destination. Upon learning of the error, our teams in JFK and Boston immediately took steps to assist the children in reaching their correct destinations. While the children were always under the care and supervision of JetBlue crew members, we realize this situation was distressing for their families.”

Martinez said she’ll never fly JetBlue again.

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