CHARLOTTE — A Flordia mother is suing American Airlines following an incident involving its unaccompanied minor services.
Amber Vencill claims her two children were placed in a “jail-like room” overnight at Charlotte Douglas Airport after their connecting flight was canceled.
She spoke with ABC News Transportation Correspondent Gio Benitez about how airlines “led her children astray.”
“It’s a feeling no parent wants to feel,” Vencill said.
Vencill said that last summer, her two sons, ages 10 and 12, were traveling via American Airlines’ unaccompanied minor service from Missouri to New York with a stopover in North Carolina.
The service costs approximately $150 each way.
However, the connecting flight to Charlotte was canceled after several delays. Vencill said the airline emailed him to let him know his children would be on a flight the next day.
“I am confident that during airport transitions they would be accompanied by a flight attendant since they had that service,” Vencill explained.
Vencill said her boys did not have their own phones and she claims she was unable to contact them at the number provided by the airline.
Vencill also claims the children were placed overnight in a cold room similar to a prison cell.
She said that after several hours, she was able to reach them through an airport employee, who gave the children water and sandwiches.
“So I thanked her very much,” she said. “There are no words to truly tell her how much I appreciated her in this moment.”
Vencill said American offered a $150 refund, but she said she wanted change.
She also won’t let her kids leave without their phones next time.
“So even though I had the best intentions, it didn’t really work out at the time. So in the future, they will absolutely have their phone. If they travel alone.
American Airlines released a statement regarding the incident, saying:
“The safety and comfort of our clients, including unaccompanied minors in our care, are our highest priorities. We have been in contact directly with Ms Vencill and are reviewing the details of the trial.
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