A woman is suing American Airlines for their “reckless” and “negligent” actions after the airline allegedly lost her two kids at the airport.
According to the lawsuit filed on October 31, Amber Vencill’s two underage sons were flying from Missouri to Syracuse, New York. Vencill’s lawyer David Jaroslawicz said, “The worst part was they were in an airport; they could have been taken anywhere.” And now, he said that the boys are afraid to fly thinking they’d be “lost or abandoned.”
Lost in an Airport?
Vencill’s two sons, aged 10 and 12 were flying unaccompanied on July 30, 2022, and were having a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina. The boys were supposed to meet Vencill’s partner. However, the connecting flight in North Carolina was delayed several times and then canceled.
Vencill’s partner was then informed by American Airlines that the children would be on a flight the following day at around 9 AM. He was told that the kids would stay in a “nice room for unaccompanied minors where there were beds and their own bathrooms.”
However, things became confusing as Vencill was allegedly given different information by the airline. In an email, she was informed that the kids would be flying at 5 PM the following day. Vencill tried calling the airline but couldn’t reach the number American Airlines provided.
Eventually, the worried mother was able to talk to her kids via a Charlotte Douglas International Airport employee. The worker, not affiliated with American Airlines, tracked down the whereabouts of the children. The lawsuit alleges that the kids stayed in a “lost children’s room.”
The children claim that they weren’t given food or water. And worse, they spent the night in a “freezing” room with just a sofa. The children eventually boarded the plane to Syracuse and were picked up by their father.
Apology and a $150 Refund
Vencill emailed American Airlines’ Board of Directors regarding the incident. However, she only received an apology and a promise to refund the $150 unaccompanied minor chaperone service fee.
By availing of the $150 unaccompanied minor chaperone service, American Airlines states on its website that the children will be escorted from the gates. Also, children can wait and play in an “unaccompanied minors lounge” while waiting for a connecting flight.
The website also says “we’ll arrange for overnight accommodations, meals and supervision” if the children missed the connecting flight.
In the lawsuit, Vencill finds the airline’s actions “offensive.” Also, the lawsuit accuses American Airlines of not launching an investigation into what happened. Vencill is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.
In a statement, American Airlines said, “The safety and comfort of our customers, including unaccompanied minors in our care are our highest priorities and we’re committed to providing a positive experience to everyone who travels with us. We have been in touch with Ms. Vencill directly and we are reviewing the details of the lawsuit.”