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Did the parents do enough to ensure her safety? 10-Year-Old Girl Goes Missing After Flying Alone on United Airlines

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At what age is it appropriate to let a child fly alone on an airplane? This is the newest debate after Annie and Perry Klebahn’s 10-year-old daughter, Phoebe, missed her United Airlines plane connection because the third-party unaccompanied minor service representative had “simply forgotten to show up.”

Phoebe’s parents “only knew their daughter did not make it when her summer camp in Michigan called to say she hadn’t arrived.”

Once she was discovered “missing,” it took an additional hour to find her!

“Apparently when the flight landed, she asked the flight attendants for help, but they told her they were busy and she needed to wait. She also asked thrice for access to a phone to call her parents, but was allegedly also told to wait.”

This is not the first time an airline has failed to provide sufficient care of an unaccompanied minor, and it probably won’t be the last. Her parents could have purchased a direct flight, or provided her with a cell phone for this trip; regardless, the main point is that this unaccompanied minor was, well, unaccompanied!

At what age would you allow your child to fly on a plane unaccompanied? 

 

*Note from the Author: This blog's intention is not to defame any specific airline. I would've written the same blog if it had been Delta, Airtran, or any other airline. This blog is just my opinion, as a mother who is terrified to place her child on ANY airline alone, especially after reading this news story.*


http://www.everydayfamily.com/blog/10-year-old-girl-goes-missing-after-flying-alone-on-united-airlines/?utm_medium=rss&utm_source=outbrain&utm_campaign=articles&tc=120043&subid=articles&utm_term=US
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Replies (11-20):
Ziva65
by Gold Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:25 PM
I wouldn't have sent them.
Seems time parents assume the risk by having a child fly alone at that age.

I flew to Vancouver Canada from San Francisco at age 11. It was a direct flight. I was really sheltered too. In those days, the airline had me escorted completely by a Stewadess. The problem was I seemed to have lost my passport in the process...scary, was led away by the police as a runaway, even with the stewardess and papers...it was an international flight. Thankfully, my uncle up there came to get me and straightened it all out. That was over 40 years ago. I still remember that feeling. I laugh now, but I do feel bad for that poor kid.

Could be worse though
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Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:41 PM
I don't see a problem with an unaccompanied healthy (no physical or emotional/mental illness) 12yo (or maybe a very mature 10yo) on a direct flight if the parent is allowed to go to the gate & someone meets the child at the receiving gate, preferably someone the child knows. I would have a much greater problem with non-direct flights. I probably wouldn't allow it until the child was much older if they were non-direct flights, 16yo at least.
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momtimesx4
by Gold Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:42 PM



Quoting smalltowngal:

The airlines should actually be able to provide help when someone asks for it. Is it really that had for a flight attendant to help a child for 2 minutes? 


Flght attendants were prepping the plane for the next flight and only paid when the plane is wheels up and in the air.

One of the parents should have flown with her to ensure that she got to the summer camp.  


SEEKEROFSHELLS
by Platinum Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:43 PM

 17 years ago I booked non-stop flights with Continental. I paid an extra fee for her to fly unaccompanied. She took her first plane flight at 6 years old. She was well taken care of. Responsible people were there to meet her. I was 12 and my sister was 9 when we boarded a train in Tampa, and traveled by ourselves to Nashville Tennessee. Dad tipped the porter, said take care of the girls, You will get a tip in Nashville. Oh that porter was so nice to us, letting us know when the dining car was open for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Giving us pillows and such. He was like an uncle to us. Really nice man. We were well behaved too. Gosh it is such a different age now! 

Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:43 PM
I flew alone several times after my parents seperated, but they were always direct flights. Why did your father hate direct flights. I certainly prefer them!


Quoting young_lv_mom:

I had to travel at least twice a year on my own from the time I was 12 till 17 from FL to NV, and my father hated direct flights. They can be scary, however they say they will help when needed (and did for me when I was traveling), I think it was the airlines fault on this one. They even have special things in place for unaccompanied minors flying.


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SEEKEROFSHELLS
by Platinum Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:47 PM



Quoting momtimesx4:



Quoting smalltowngal:

The airlines should actually be able to provide help when someone asks for it. Is it really that had for a flight attendant to help a child for 2 minutes? 


Flght attendants were prepping the plane for the next flight and only paid when the plane is wheels up and in the air.

One of the parents should have flown with her to ensure that she got to the summer camp.  


 They might have been prepping the plane to get paid, but if that child had come up dead, and the attendents were on camera brushing her off they would all be out work, or a big lawsuit would be coming down the pike. 


young_lv_mom
by Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:48 PM

He is a dick, he one time lied and told them I had cancer to get a non refundable ticket refunded. A month later my mom had hell fixing the mess up because they put me on the no fly list because of him. Anything to save a buck.

Quoting Bookwormy:

I flew alone several times after my parents seperated, but they were always direct flights. Why did your father hate direct flights. I certainly prefer them!


Quoting young_lv_mom:

I had to travel at least twice a year on my own from the time I was 12 till 17 from FL to NV, and my father hated direct flights. They can be scary, however they say they will help when needed (and did for me when I was traveling), I think it was the airlines fault on this one. They even have special things in place for unaccompanied minors flying.



Healthystart30
by Silver Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:49 PM
I know that you usually pay extra for that service, if they paid a fee, the person should not have forgotten! Those service people also need to learn to speak to children! no matter how busy you are, you can always take a minute to help a child in need! I would be furious if I was her parent!
Fullmoon_Goddes
by Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:52 PM
I used to fly unaccompanied at age 8 with my sister who was 5 - no cell phones back then. But back then, people cared about others and took pride in their jobs.
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momtimesx4
by Gold Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:55 PM

If the family could afford to send her to some summer camp in another state, as well as fly her out, they should have bought a second ticket and acommpanied her on the flight and then to the camp.  

But.....this event happened back in August....why bitch about it now?  complain to the 3rd party escort service

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