Southwest Mix-Up Leaves A 9-Year-Old Stranded Alone For Five Hours

Fri, December 23, 2011 10:37am EDT by 16 Comments

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: A nine-year-old girl’s flight arrived at her destination without her on it, and nobody knew where she was!

Little Chloe Boyce was traveling from her home in Clarksville, Tenn. to New York to see family, but her Southwest flight was delayed at Baltimore. The only problem? Nobody told her parents! When Chloe’s aunt went to pick her up at La Guardia airport, she wasn’t there, according to The Daily Mail!

Chloe had been taken off of the plane in Baltimore and rebooked on a flight five hours later, but her family had no idea where she was because the airline neglected to inform them!

When Chloe didn’t get off of her flight, she frantically called Southwest. It took an HOUR for them to track her down — imagine her mother’s horror! “It was like the scariest moment of my life to think they didn’t know where she was,” her mother Elena Kerr told ABC News.

She had been scheduled to stop in Columbus and Baltimore, but she wasn’t supposed to get off of the plane. But when fog hit Columbus, the flight landed in Cleveland. Somebody from the airline took her off of the flight in Baltimore to rebook.

“We just don’t understand why we weren’t called, especially because the Southwest policy states that someone must be available to answer phone calls during the flight time in the event of a flight irregularity,” Elena told MSNBC.

Southwest has apologized to the family and refunded the cost of the flight. Also, a pilot who was alerted to Chloe’s situation bought her dinner during the five-hour delay and made sure the little girl was comfortable.

This might very well be Chloe’s last unaccompanied flight: “I’m going to be driving the 17 hours to New York to get her,” her mom said.

Yikes! What would YOU have done if this had happened to your child, HollyMoms?

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buyskypro

Posted at 4:59 PM on February 14, 2013  

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wow

Posted at 2:29 PM on December 29, 2011  

wow ppl are so quick to judge without being in the mothers shoes……….we dont know why the mother decide to let her go but i know when a child is flying alone the flight attendant are responsible to make sure the child makes it okay and if they are running late etc they are to inform the parent of any any chances…..so whatever the reason was for her flying its not the mother fault she paid for her daughter to fly by law if any child under 16 is to be watched by a flight attendant at time till they are handle over to a family member….. so sry people the mother did the right thing the best she could in the sitaution its was the southwest responsible to make sure the girl made it time to her destination if they wont going to they should of taken her money or let them book n their fight v

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Jess

Posted at 2:33 AM on December 27, 2011  

It’s called flying UM. Unaccompanied Minor. They take you to your gate, put you in your seat and then they check on you throughout the flight. You stay on the flight until everyone gets off and then they take you to your next plane. Its simple, and you wear a special big button and they even have special places set up at the bigger airports for kids who have big gaps between flights with tvs, toys, coloring books and meals. I flew from CT to OR every holiday and summer from age 8-15 alone. I admit though, some of the people who are supposed to get you from gate to gate often don’t pay attention and have no clue what they are doing. I was taken to the wrong gate plenty of times. And during the holidays i would go through Chicago and i’d land on one side and had to leave out the other so they would run with us and most of the time we kids had to depend on each other to not get lost in crowds. But this was something my parents paid extra for, it wasn’t free. I’m 23 now though so maybe it has changed.

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Cassidy

Posted at 7:09 PM on December 24, 2011  

You can say the flight attendant should have checked on the kid all you want, but the flight attendant didn’t give birth to that child. It is ultimately the parents responsibility for the child. So have you ‘opinion’ anonomous and i’ll have mine. The mother is a freakin IDIOT for letting her nine year old child fly by herself.

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mother

Posted at 2:35 PM on December 25, 2011  

The flight attendants are supposed to be there for your child. It is there job to make sure the child doesn’t get lost. There is nothing wrong with a child traveling on a plane. My son who is 9 will be on a plane going from florida to nj next summer. Unless you all want to give me the money to travel over the summer with 3 kids and guarantee my husband will be able to take leave then.

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hope

Posted at 2:38 PM on December 29, 2011  

i dont understand how the moms an idiot at alll.???? have u having such a strong opion thought bout mayb why the mom let her fly … like maybe her dad wanted to see her or her grandmothers sick or something happen and the mother had no CHOICE ….. an i assume she didnt have the money to fly with her daughter … just hope @CASSIDY u are never in that situation ………

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christine

Posted at 10:21 PM on December 23, 2011  

Oh please, don’t stress yourselves over this. I knew a girl who was 8 and every other week she went on a flight from ontario to BC by herself without any issues. There are flight attendants to help…

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Shawna

Posted at 4:07 PM on December 23, 2011  

I’ve been where this little girl was at the same age too. My flight to Hawaii was landed in LAX due to engine trouble and I was by myself. A very nice couple took care of me and made sure I got onto the correct flight out because the gate people did not tell the flight attendents I was flying from San Diego to Honalulu by myself so the crew did not know I was alone. It is the parents job to educate their child on what to do in the situation while flying alone but it is also the Airlines job to make sure the right people know there is a child flying alone and to contact the parents in case of these situations. My parents are far from stupid or uncaring parents. They trusted that my crew would do their jobs and that I knew what to do. And I did.

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San

Posted at 1:46 PM on December 23, 2011  

I flew alone numerous times as a child and had a similar incident occurred- except I was only an hour late. However, I see nothing wrong with a child flying alone. The flight attendants are supposed to look out for the child and make sure they get on their flights, etc… It’s not the mothers fault something happened & why deny a child the right to see family? Maybe the mother couldn’t afford a flight herself.

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lau

Posted at 1:41 PM on December 23, 2011  

It wouldn’t have happened to my child because i’m not thick enough to stick a kid on a plane on thie own!

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Teresa

Posted at 12:53 PM on December 23, 2011  

This is one of the biggest parenting fails I have ever seen. These parents are completely irresponsible for letting a 9-year old fly alone…AND booking her on a flight with TWO stops. And why were they sending their child away for Christmas?

Southwest is not to blame. These parents should be ashamed of themselves.

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nikki

Posted at 10:47 PM on December 23, 2011  

I do not agree with letting a 9 year old travel on a plane by their self.

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cassidy

Posted at 12:49 PM on December 23, 2011  

What kind of parent let’s there 9 yr old fly somewhere all by thereself? The mom is a freakin moron

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anonomous

Posted at 8:27 PM on December 23, 2011  

@cassidy
i think in my on opion its nothing wrong with sending a child of her age on a plane by there self the parents should have had the flight attendent watch after her and made sure she got to her next flight safely….

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Erika

Posted at 12:36 PM on December 23, 2011  

who the hell sends a 9 year old on a plane all by themselves?!

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anonomous

Posted at 8:25 PM on December 23, 2011  

alot of people nothing is wrong with that? whats wrong is that they should have a flight attendnt checking on the girl every once in a while…….

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