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Spirit Airlines

Family Asks Spirit to Clarify Minors Policy After Daughter Harassed

Family Asks Spirit to Clarify Minors Policy After Daughter Harassed
Jackie Reddy

Mark and Amy Booth have voiced their concern regarding Spirit Airlines’ policy on unaccompanied minors after their 13-year-old daughter was harassed by a male passenger on a flight from Boston to Florida. In a written statement, the carrier has defended the actions of its employees and crew members.

A family from Manchester, New Hampshire have voiced concerns over Spirit Airlines’ policy regarding unaccompanied minors, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.

Mark and Amy Booth have spoken out after their 13-year-old daughter was harassed by a male passenger while traveling alone on a flight from Boston to Orlando, Florida, last Monday. This incident occurred after the couple paid $200 in additional fees to ensure that the teenager received special protection as a minor traveling alone.

However, they told the outlet that, upon her arrival in Orlando, they received a call from their daughter, who related the incident. “She had noticed that there was a man over the age of 40 taking pictures of her on the plane and she was concerned,” explained Mr. Booth.

He added, “She got the flight attendant’s attention and told him and asked what the hell was going on. They had moved her to the front of the plane and supposedly the flight attendant asked (the man) for the phone to have the pictures deleted and he not be served alcohol.”

The outlet reports that the couple then requested a seat in the plane’s first row for her return leg.

The couple initiated contact with Spirit and received a response from a representative. The staff member, named only as Natty, said, “We truly apologize for the recent experience your daughter had with us.” Natty also advised that the seat that the couple had requested on their daughter’s return flight would require the payment of an additional fee.

However, Mr. Booth has been strongly vocal regarding what he believes is the carrier’s lack of transparency on the transportation of minors. “What I was pursuing was finding out who this was to press charges so that eventually he could be put on a no-fly list,” he said.

However, Spirit has issued a statement, saying, “Spirit Airlines takes the safety of all guests, including unaccompanied minors very seriously. As with this case, our crew acted quickly to reseat the minor.” It added that it would continue to investigate the incident.

[Image Source: pxhere]

View Comments (12)

12 Comments

  1. drphun

    August 16, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    See, this is why some parents require their daughters to wear burkas.

  2. dvs7310

    August 18, 2018 at 12:29 am

    Why would you chose a stock photo of an Alitalia plane for this article?

  3. dvs7310

    August 18, 2018 at 12:30 am

    Your photo chosen is an Alitalia plane, but article is about Spirit. Wrong Continent Jackie, poor journalism.

  4. atflyer

    August 18, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    This it a sad thing that happened. In any modern civilised country a 13 year old girl should be able to travel on her own without these kind of things. Unfortunately, even if just 1 out of a few 1000 travellers behave like the jerk in this story, we will have 1 jerk like this per 10-20 flights (assuming >150 pax per flight). Apparently ‘ They had moved her to the front of the plane and supposedly the flight attendant asked (the man) for the phone to have the pictures deleted and he not be served alcohol.’ which seems all what Frontier could do on the spot during the flight. Good that there is further investigation to the incident and the unruly pax involved, and hopefully independent judgment will be made if this person behaved so bad that he should face further measures. Afterthought: I understand the fear the parents experienced and that they wanted to do all they can to avoid repetition – but I am not sure if moving someone to the 1st row of a plane will really be a solution. That one in x-thousand persons you like to avoid could be in row 1, 15, or 30 I would say. Like here, in the very unlikely case things like this happen, we must rely on FAs, sensible fellow travellers, and the assertiveness of the person subject to things to cope with such an unfortunate and hopefully seldom occuring situation.

  5. Dublin_rfk

    August 18, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Very protective parents. But other than having a security officer on the return what can the airline do? I’m fairly sure the issue on the first flight won’t be on the return.

  6. atflyer

    August 18, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    PS meant Spirt instead of Frontier above – It seems I cannot edit my post (if the moderator changes this and deletes this correction fine with me)

  7. flyerCO

    August 19, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Creep. However nothing he did was illegal. Taking a photo is not an illegal act in this case. Unless he approached her or tried to do something to her no law was broken. The airline could in fact be sued for giving put his name.

  8. DutchessPDX

    August 20, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Yeah, men can’t keep their hands to themselves so women should be forced to cover every inch of their skin! Maybe men need to go around in handcuffs to keep them restrained. Seems like you should punish the offenders and not the victims.

  9. mvoight

    August 21, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Dutchess – There was no mentions of hands being anywhere but on a camera, so I don’t understand your comment about “hands to themselves”
    Also, NOTHING illegal was done.

    Mr Booth’s comment about “press charges” was unrealistic. According to the article, the only thing the man did was to take pictures.
    That is not illegal. Even being in a front row would not prevent someone from taking pictures. Also, the FA might ask the man to delete the pictures, but as this was NOT an airline security issue, he would NOT have to comply. Yes, I know about the “obeying flight crew instructions”, but that does not mean you are legally required to do EVERYTHING they ask.
    Even the police cannot compel him to delete the pictures. Additionally, if there is an additional fee for sitting up front and her parents want that, then they should pay for her to sit up front. It’s not like they didn’t know her seat number BEFORE putting her on the plane. They knew she was not in the front seat, so what did they expect the airline to do? I don’t see this as a valid complaint for anything the airline did.

  10. kkua

    August 21, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Most of the time, unaccompanied minors board the plane first and are often seated in the back of the plane where the flight crews can keep an eye on the kids. Being on the back of the plane means they get to disembark with the last of the flight crews and they will be escorted with airline staff. Putting the kid in the first row of economy is not advisable unless it’s the first row of the plane where the children will be among the first ones to be greeted by ground staff once the plane doors open.

  11. BJM

    August 21, 2018 at 11:45 am

    While taking a photo of someone is not illegal, harassment is. Does this situation, if true, fall under that category?

    Could the airline have a case to ban the passenger from future flights? Again, if true, it seems there could be violation of the contract of carriage.

    4.3 Conduct/Condition
    4.3.1. A guest shall not be permitted to board the aircraft or may be required to leave
    an aircraft if that guest:
    a. is disorderly, abusive, violent, or their conduct creates an unreasonable
    risk of offense or annoyance to other guests;

    d. is or is perceived by the flight crew to pose a security threat or risk of
    harm or damage to the airline, its aircraft or property, and/or other
    guests, or their property;

  12. atflyer

    August 22, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    @BJM – that is the whole point. It seems obvious that the male ‘photographer’ in this story is a creep/jerk. But well. Then we have all these other stories of a mathematician reading strange formulas or someone just reading prayers in a non-western language script being kicked off a plane for being ‘perceived as a security risk’. Of course some cases are black and white and please have the flight crew apply article 4.3.1.a/d then. But in grey cases, in civilised societies you have independent checks and balances and you should not be at the mercy of the interpretation of one single individual. How much I as indicated in my earlier post, I feel what happened in this case should never happen to 13 year olds or anyone else in any civilised society.

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