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JetBlue Mixes up Kids on Wrong International Flights

Passengers exit a JetBlue Airways Corp. plane at Long Beach Airport (LGB) in Long Beach, California, U.S., on Monday, July 22, 2013. JetBlue Airways Corp. is scheduled to release earnings figures on July 30. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

JetBlue agents inadvertently flew two unaccompanied minors home to the wrong parents after confusing which young child was headed to NYC and which one was traveling to Boston.
A mother of a five-year-old child was in for an unwelcome surprise when she arrived at John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to greet her son Andy on arrival from Cibao International Airport (STI) in the Dominican Republic. Maribel Martinez says not only did JetBlue agents present someone else’s child rather than her son, it then took over three hours for the airline to locate her child who was at the time more than 200 miles away at Logan International Airport (BOS).
“No, this is not my child,” Martinez recalled repeatedly telling JetBlue employees during the terrifying August 17 ordeal. “I thought he was kidnapped,” she recounted to the Daily News which first reported on the bizarre mix-up. “I thought I would never see him again.”
Martinez says she paid a $100 fee to ensure employees would supervise her child’s trip back to the US after visiting relatives in the Dominican Republic. Family members report that there was nothing out of the ordinary when they said their goodbyes and allowed JetBlue employees at STI to escort Andy Martinez to his flight home, but at some point, agents confused the kindergartener for another child and sent both children to the wrong destinations.
Meanwhile, the 5-year-old child (who was inexplicably carrying Andy Martinez’s passport) who arrived at JFK in Andy Martinez’s place was actually supposed to be on his way home to BOS. The airline did not explain how the rather serious mix-up between the two unaccompanied minors was able to occur at the airport of origin.
“Two unaccompanied children of the same age traveling separately from Santiago, Dominican Republic, one to New York JFK and one to Boston — each boarded a flight to the incorrect destination,” JetBlue said in a statement this week. “Upon learning of the error, our teams in JFK and Boston immediately took steps to assist the children in reaching their correct destinations. While the children were always under the care and supervision of JetBlue crew members, we realize this situation was distressing for their families.”
[Photo: JetBlue]
Comments are Closed.
htb September 11, 2016

@JS: I don't see how "being kidnapped" could be a possible explanation for a different kid showing up.

J S September 7, 2016

I disagree that "the hysterics about being kidnapped is bizarre." I am a pretty level-headed traveler, but if I showed up an airport to pick up my 5 year old son to find that a) he wasn't there, and b) the airline had absolutely no idea where he was, I would have been extremely concerned. Sure, the idea that the children were switch was one potential explanation--possibly even the most likely (although probabilities are hard to assign in a highly unusual circumstance). However, it is not the *only* possibility. Kidnapping was a possibility. Maybe remote, but not remote enough to put a parent's mind at ease. Let's cut the mother some slack after B6 put her through a few hours of terror.

flyerCO September 4, 2016

The passport probably got pulled out of each kids packet at the same time. When it came time to put it back in, they put the wrong passport in each kids packet. Thus when they verified IDs they thought they had the correct child. Other option is the kids were together at the same time and switched IDs thinking it was "funny" or "fun". Regardless a serious slip up. However the hysterics about being kidnapped is bizarre. I understand being freaked out, but with another kid showing up, it's clear that it was a mix-up between two kids. Kidnappers don't take one child, and then send another in their place.