Corinne Chausse and her husband allowed their 11-year-old daughter Maggie to travel on a plane by herself from their hometown in Charlotte, NC to New York to visit family. When Maggie’s parents booked her flight back home, they didn’t intend for their airline to lose track of where their daughter actually was.
With American Airlines, parents have to pay an extra $300 for an unaccompanied minor on top of the ticket price for extra care costs. Even though Chausse paid the extra fee, her daughter was still failed by the system. Now she’s speaking out so other parents don’t go through this same trauma.
Maggie was supposed to arrive back in Charlotte at 8:50 p.m. on Monday, but her flight was delayed due to weather. The problem is, Chausse didn’t hear from her daughter until 1:30 a.m. after the plane was rerouted to Columbia, SC. Maggie told her parents she was being taken off the plane, because her flight was cancelled. So, her parents set from Charlotte to Columbia pick her up when the airline told them the flight was back on track, there was no need to pick up their daughter. As if that’s not bad enough, they then called back to inform them that the flight was cancelled. Confused yet?
As this point, Chausse said an American Airlines employee informed her that Maggie was in a room for minors at the Columbia airport, but only a few minutes later, Maggie called to say she was still on the plane. Even worse still, none of the employees on the plane gave her anything to eat in the entire nine hours she was there. At this point, Chausse has tried to contact American Airlines about the fiasco, but to no avail, telling WSOCTV:
“They blatantly lied to me about where she was…I don’t want another parent to go through this. They need to look at this system they have in place. They’re charging people $300 for it and they need to examine where it failed because it failed drastically.”
Of course, it’s not even about the money, but the fact that her daughter was literally missing in action. It was such a traumatizing experience that her daughter has since said she never wants to fly again. To me, this sounds like complete negligence from the beginning–from none of the employees communicating to each other to properly caring for a minor–which is completely unacceptable behavior.