A Spirit Airlines plane takes off at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on June 1, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo Credit: Mario Tama / Staff | Getty Images News via Getty Images

Spirit Airlines Puts 6-Year-Old on Wrong Flight

On Dec. 21, 2023, Spirit Airlines made a major mishap as they put an unaccompanied child on the wrong flight. The 6-year-old boy was to fly to southwest Florida to spend Christmas with his grandma. However, he found himself in Orlando, 160 miles from his destination (via Associated Press).

His grandmother, Maria Ramos, arrived on time at the Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, only to find out her grandson wasn’t on the Spirits Airline flight. Casper was flying from Philadelphia for the first time. This made the situation all the more concerning for his family members (via BBC).

Thankfully, the little boy soon called his grandma, informing her that he had safely landed but was at the wrong destination. Ramos quickly drove to Orlando to pick up her grandson. While Spirit Airlines offered to reimburse her, Maria simply wanted answers.

She exclaimed that it was the scariest thing she had ever experienced. In an interview, she stated, “I want them to call me. Let me know how my grandson ended up in Orlando” (via WINK).

Is it common for unaccompanied minors to be put on the wrong flights?

While this scene that seems straight out of the “Home Alone 2” movie might seem hilarious, it is highly distressing for the family members. These mishaps are not common, but there have been similar instances in the past.

As per BBC, there was a similar situation in 2009 when not one but two different unaccompanied girls were boarded on the wrong flight. It was Continental Airlines flights within the US. The company stated “miscommunication among staff” as the reason behind the unfortunate circumstances.

In 2019, a boy was boarded on a flight to Germany when he was supposed to be flying to Sweden. The United Airlines flight swap must have been incredibly distressing for his guardians as it wasn’t even within the country.

As for the Spirit Airlines mishap, the company released an official statement stating, “The child was always under the care and supervision of a Spirit Team Member…we took immediate steps to communicate with the family and reconnect them.” The airline further emphasized that they are holding an internal investigation, formally apologizing to the family (via ABC News).

Per the latest update, Casper’s family is considering legal options as Spirit Airlines has yet to provide them with an explanation days after the mixup (via New York Post).

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