Yikes! JetBlue Airways made a MAJOR mistake on Aug. 17 when they put Andy Mercado, a 5-year-old unaccompanied minor, on the wrong flight! The youngster was supposed to fly home to NY, but his mother was completely horrified when she was presented with a different boy at the airport! Get the details of her shocking story below.
A 5-year-old boy, Andy Martinez Mercado, was returning home alone on Aug. 17 from a family visit in the Dominican Republic when he was placed on the wrong flight by JetBlue employees. He ended up 214 miles away in Boston while his panic-stricken mother, Maribel Martinez, 38, waited for him at Kennedy Airport.
Maribel revealed she completely lost her mind while it took more than three hours to locate her son. We can only imagine the horror she was going through. “I thought he was kidnapped,” Maribel told the Daily News. “I thought I would never see him again.” SO awful!
— RT America (@RT_America) September 2, 2016
Instead of being presented with her own little boy, Maribel was given a different five-year-old boy who clueless JetBlue staffers thought was her son. “No, this is not my child,” the shocked mom recalled telling the employees. As it turns out, that little boy — who was carrying Andy’s passport at the time — was supposed to be on the flight to Boston, and he was mistakenly placed on the plane to New York City. Talk about a MAJOR switch up!
“On August 17, two unaccompanied children of the same age traveling separately from Santiago, Dominican Republic — one to New York JFK and one to Boston — each boarded a flight to the incorrect destination,” Tamara Young, a spokeswoman for JetBlue, said in a statement to CNN.
“Upon learning of the error, our teams in JFK and Boston immediately took steps to assist the children in reaching their correct destinations,” Young said. “While the children were always under the care and supervision of JetBlue crew members, we realize this situation was distressing for their families.”
Maribel has understandably now retained a high-powered lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, to take legal action against JetBlue for their negligence. She says the situation has caused her family much emotional distress this summer. “Any parent can understand the terrifying fear a mother goes through knowing that her child is missing,” Sanford said. “This never should have happened and the JetBlue employees should be ashamed of themselves.”
The other child involved has not been named, but we’re sure whoever was waiting for him in Boston must have been equally concerned to see Andy instead. It’s still unclear exactly how this mistake happened. But we’re just thankful no one ended up hurt as a result. After all, Maribel and her family in the Dominican Republic did everything correctly — even paid an extra $100 to ensure a JetBlue staffer would be traveling with him and taking care of him.
And while the airline company has refunded Maribel for her ticket and even gave her a $2,100 credit for future JetBlue flights, the credit will go unused. Maribel said she does not plan to fly JetBlue again. And we do not blame her!
How crazy is this story, HollywoodLifers? What would YOU think if this happened to someone you know?