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Delta Apologizes for Kid Switch

Posted on July 7, 2010

You may recall that Delta Airlines temporarily mixed up two nine-year-olds, sending each one to the wrong cities. The children were connecting through Minneapolis-St. Paul in June, according to The Florida Times-Union. Because of a paperwork switch, the girl ended up in Boston instead of Cleveland, and the boy ended up in Cleveland instead of Boston. These were unaccompanied minors so they were traveling alone and the airlines are supposed to act as chaperons, making sure they leave one plane and are routed correctly to another. In both cases, the adults in charge failed to check the paperwork.

The boy told a local television station the airline was nice and apologized, fed him, and gave him donuts.

Delta’s policy prevents children, ages 5 to 14, from being booked on the last flight of the day in case a flight is canceled. And there are requirements for identification for the child and adults present at both the drop off and the pickup point.

Children age five and younger cannot travel alone, and ages five through 7 can travel alone only on nonstop and through flights. Families may be able to get a gate pass to bring the child through security to the departure gate.

There is no information from Delta on how often a mix-up such as this happens.

The families received an apology and the children were sent to their final destinations safely with the full cost of the ticket refunded as well as credits given to the family for future travel. This story had a happy ending, which is great for everyone involved, including the airline.