Spirit Airlines Apologizes After Unaccompanied 6-Year-Old Put on Wrong Flight

Caden Pearson
By Caden Pearson
December 26, 2023US News
Spirit Airlines Apologizes After Unaccompanied 6-Year-Old Put on Wrong Flight
A Spirit Airlines plane lands at Oakland International Airport in Oakland, Calif., on July 28, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The grandmother of an unaccompanied 6-year-old boy who was put on the wrong Spirit Airlines flight by staff wants answers after the carrier apologized for the error.

Maria Ramos said it was one of the scariest experiences of her life when her grandson, Casper, did not disembark from his flight from Philadelphia.

“They told me, ‘No, he’s not on this flight. He missed his flight.’ I said, ‘No, he could not miss his flight because I have the check-in tag,’” Ms. Ramos told WINK News in Southwest Florida.

As the passengers disembarked at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida, and Casper still had not emerged, Ms. Ramos said she “ran inside the plane to the flight attendant, and I asked her, ‘Where’s my grandson? He was handed over to you at Philadelphia?’ She said, ‘No, I had no kids with me.’”

“My stomach was tight. My heart was pounding,” Ms. Ramos added.

Casper then called his grandmother. She discovered that he had been put on a flight to Orlando, a four-hour drive away. Ms. Ramos described Casper’s conversation with her and how he asked why she wasn’t waiting for him when he got off the plane.

“I said, ‘What do you mean you got out [of] the plane?’ He said, ‘Yes, I’m here. I land[ed], I’m in the airport.’ I said, ‘Give me an adult.’ He said, ‘I don’t have nobody with me,’” Ms. Ramos said.

That’s when she realized he had been put on the wrong flight. “I keep thinking, somebody could have stolen my grandson,” she added.

Casper reportedly told his grandmother that he never wants to get on a plane by himself again.

Airline Apologizes

The airline has apologized and reportedly offered compensation for the fuel costs of driving to Orlando to pick up Casper, but Ms. Ramos wants an explanation.

In a statement to WINK News, a Spirit Airlines spokesperson said Casper was “incorrectly boarded” on a flight from Philadelphia International Airport to Orlando, Florida, nearly 170 miles away from his intended destination.

“The child was always under the care and supervision of a Spirit Team Member, and as soon as we discovered the error, we took immediate steps to communicate with the family and reconnect them,” the airline said. “We take the safety and responsibility of transporting all of our guests seriously and are conducting an internal investigation. We apologize to the family for this experience.”

The airline did not provide further details on how the mistake happened.

“I want them to call me,” said Ms. Ramos, referring to the airline. “[And] let me know how my grandson ended up in Orlando.”

“How did that happen? Did they get him off the plane?” she asked, running through scenarios that might explain how the error occurred. “The flight attendant—after mom handed him with paperwork—did she let him go by himself? He jumped in the wrong plane by himself?”

The Epoch Times contacted Spirit Airlines for further comment.

From The Epoch Times

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