A woman is suing American Airlines after her children were allegedly held in a “freezing” room “akin to a jail cell” after the airline allegedly misplaced her kids after a canceled connecting flight.
Mom Amber Vencill says she paid the airline extra for its unaccompanied minor service for her 10- and 12-year-old sons on a flight from Missouri to New York, with a connecting flight in Charlotte, North Carolina.
However, Vencill claims that the flight out of Charlotte was delayed multiple times before being canceled and was assured that her sons would be placed in a room designated for unaccompanied minors that included a “bed and bathrooms.”
But the kids did not have cell phones, and Vencill says she could not contact them all night because her sons were placed in a room for “lost children” overnight — without anything to eat or drink.
“It’s a feeling no parent ever wants to feel,” Vencill told Good Morning America. “I [had] faith that during the transitions at the airports, they would be with a flight attendant since they had that service.”
According to American Airlines’ website, the unaccompanied minor service costs roughly $150 per child and includes “an airport escort to help your child to the gate for flight connections” and an airline employee “escorting the child to the authorized adult picking them up when they land.”
The policy also states: “In the rare case that your child needs to stay overnight because of a missed connection, we’ll arrange for overnight accommodations, meals, and supervision. We’ll call if this occurs.”
Vencill said that the airline refunded her the $300 for the service for her two sons but she has not heard anything further from the company.
In a statement to ABC News, American Airlines said that the safety of customers is among the airline’s “highest priorities,” including unaccompanied minors.
“We have been in touch with Ms. Vencill directly and we are reviewing the details of the lawsuit,” the airline told the outlet.
American Airlines did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur’s request for comment.