BOSTON (CBS) – Anne Norris is furious at American Airlines.
“I definitely would not put another child on American Airlines again, not without an adult,” Norris said. Her 13-year-old daughter and her friend were on their way to gymnastics camp and flying for the first time without an adult.
They were flying from Boston to Allentown, Pa. but their connecting flight in Charlotte got canceled along with dozens of other flights due to technical issues. Norris says her daughter and her friend were stranded in Charlotte for hours and even had to spend the night.
Norris said she tried to talk to an American Airlines official on the speakerphone her daughter was holding because they refused to speak to her directly.
“The fact that I could not get hold of an adult to talk to me to navigate through the situation and get them to where they need to be. American was absolutely no help,” Norris said.
After spending a significant amount of time on the phone and getting nowhere, she decided to take matters into her own hands, so she got in her car drove to Logan Airport to speak with a ticket agent.
“After a very long period of time, two very helpful supervisors where able to get the girls on a flight from Charlotte to Philly,” Norris said.
Once in Philadelphia, however, American Airlines would not release the girls into one of the parent’s custody who flew down to meet the girls.
“Because the badges we filled out in the morning had the name of the IGC people who were supposed to pick them up, they would not release the children to the adult, that lead to a massive fight that included the police, airport security,” Norris said.
Eventually, an American Airlines manager agreed to release the girls and they made it to camp safely. Norris said she is speaking out so other parents don’t experience the same nightmare.
“What I want is for the system to change so that there is an effective way for parents who choose to send their children on airlines to get info from a person in a timely fashion,” Norris said.