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Airline error sends 10-year-old girl to wrong city


Airline error sends 10-year-old girl to wrong city

By SHANNON BUGGS <shannon.buggs@xxxxxxxxx>

June 15, 2009, 6:58PM

Continental Airlines confirmed today that its contract carrier
ExpressJet put an unaccompanied minor traveling from Boston to
Cleveland on the wrong airplane over the weekend, sending the
10-year-old girl to Newark instead.

Her father complained about the incident Sunday on his Internet blog.
(Read the blog:

=93The child was supervised throughout the entire process and was
rebooked and routed to the proper destination on the same day,=94
Continental spokeswoman Kelly Cripe told the Chronicle in an e-mail.

The foul-up resulted because two regional jets loaded from the same
gate at the same time at Boston=92s Logan airport on Sunday, the child=92s
father wrote on his blog site Sunday afternoon, as his daughter was
flying from Newark to Cleveland.

Houston-based Continental acknowledged that chain of events.
ExpressJet did not return phone calls seeking comment.

=93In this case, there were two flights departing simultaneously from a
single doorway and miscommunication among staff members resulted in
the child being boarded on the wrong aircraft,=94 Cripe said. =93We are
reviewing the entire process to prevent this from reoccurring,=94 she

The child=92s father, who writes a blog called =93Something better to
do=97musings of an indignant mind,=94 could not be reached for comment.

His daughter was flying for a visit to her grandparents in Cleveland.

The father wrote that Continental =93offered to refund the unaccompanied
minor fee,=94 but he continued, =93You can bet they=92ll be refunding a lot
more than that fee by the time I=92m done with them.=94

Continental charges a $75 service fee for unaccompanied children
traveling alone to any destination on a one-way nonstop flight. If the
child takes a connecting flight, then the one-way service fee is $100.

=93We are in contact with the child=92s family and are working to resolve
the situation,=94 Cripe wrote.

While the child was in Continental=92s care, the carrier provided her
with a meal while she waited in a room called the Young Traveler Club.
Continental has three such rooms in its hub airports in Newark,
Cleveland and Houston that are supervised by Continental employees.

The blogger wrote that he has asked the Federal Aviation
Administration to investigate the matter =93to determine what went wrong
here and how to prevent it from happening again.=94


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