June 9, 2010 in City

Delta puts unaccompanied Spokane boy on wrong flight

Airline cites ‘paperwork swap’ in mixup
Paul Walsh The (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune
 

Two children, including a Spokane boy, traveling on Delta as unaccompanied minors through the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport were put on the wrong connections and ended up far from where they intended to travel, an airline official said Wednesday.

The mixup Tuesday at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was blamed by Delta spokesman Paul Skrbec on a “paperwork swap,” sending the Spokane boy to Cleveland rather than Boston, and a girl to Boston rather than Cleveland.

WOIO-TV in Cleveland reported that the Spokane child, 9-year-old Kieren Kershaw-Gerow, said, “It was just weird. I was like, I’m suppose to be at Boston not Cleveland.”

The boy was flying from Spokane to Boston to visit his grandparents, the TV station said.

“We’re paying them to check on him and be with him,” the WOIO quoted Kershaw-Gerow’s grandfather, Larry Kershaw, as saying. “They just threw him in the plane like anyone else … didn’t even ask his name to match the paperwork.”

The children were “under airline supervision at all times,” Skrbec said. “We immediately contacted their guardians that they were rerouted,” arriving at their destinations many hours after originally scheduled.

Delta apologized to the families, issued refunds, completed their travels at no extra cost and gave them credit for future flights, Skrbec said.

Skrbec said that such mixups with unaccompanied minors are “exceedingly rare. It’s certainly something that we take very seriously.”


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