A momma from Tennessee just experienced a parent’s worst nightmare…
In a viral video posted on TikTok, Monica Gilliam claimed that American Airlines lost her 12-year-old daughter, who was flying as an unaccompanied minor. She explained to Fox News Digital that her child was traveling by herself down to Miami last Saturday from the Chattanooga airport in Tennessee for a three-week visit with her dad.
In addition to the ticket price, the mom paid an extra $150 to make sure someone would take her to her father at the airport after the plane landed. According to the American Airlines website, the company requires any children between the ages of 5 and 14 traveling without parents to use their unaccompanied minor service. The service includes “an airport escort to help your child to the gate for flight connections” and “escorting the child to the authorized adult picking them up when they land.”
Monica also explained in the TikTok clip that kids must wear an unaccompanied minor tag on a necklace with the boarding pass, as well as the information of the adult picking them up at the airport in order to verify their identity. Despite the child sporting the unaccompanied minor tag, though, no one escorted her to her dad. That is when Monica got a chilling call from the airline saying they lost her kid at Miami International Airport:
“Almost an hour after her flight landed, I got a call from American Airlines. It was the [AA] manager at Miami … He says, ‘Your child is missing. We’ve shut down the terminal. We don’t know where she is.’”
No doubt Monica was panicking the second she heard that over the phone. She continued:
“It turns out that the flight attendants waved her off the plane and said ‘bye.’ And she said she didn’t know what to do, so she kept going because they were telling her bye. So, she kept walking.”
Thankfully, Monica shared that her daughter was able to find her dad without any help from the crew at American Airlines or Miami International Airport. She eventually managed to contact her father to tell him that her flight landed early. He then talked her through the signs just “to get her to him as safely and as quickly as possible.” While everything turned out alright, the mom was understandably angered over what happened:
“So, she [was] going through the airport with that billboard on her that she was an unaccompanied minor in one of the largest human trafficking hubs in the country. But on the way out, not one American Airlines employee stopped her to see if she had an adult. Not one Miami airport employee stopped her. Even the TSA security agent before she left the secured area and went into baggage claim, they didn’t stop her either.”
“I don’t want this to happen to anybody else, and if your child is flying an unaccompanied flight with American Airlines, then consider that. It’s not OK, and it shouldn’t happen.”
Who knows what could have happened to her daughter if she did not get a hold of her dad. We are just glad that she is safe and with family now. You can ch-ch-check out the viral TikTok (below):
In response to the situation, American Airlines told People that it “cares deeply about our young passengers” and is “committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for them.” The airline added:
“We take these matters very seriously and are looking into what occurred. A member of our team has reached out to the customer to learn more about their experience.”
Reactions, Perezcious readers? Does this make you second guess using American Airlines’ unaccompanied minor service? Let us know in the comments (below).
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