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Unaccompanied Boy, 6, Put On Wrong US Flight

Spirit Airlines mistakenly boards unaccompanied six-year-old boy on the wrong flight, sending him hours away from family during the holidays.

Spirit Airlines landing in Orlando International Airport. Image: VIAVAL TOURS/Shutterstock
Spirit Airlines landing in Orlando International Airport. Image: VIAVAL TOURS/Shutterstock

Recently, a six-year-old boy, Casper, had the chance to recreate the cult classic Christmas movie, Home Alone 2 when he found himself on the wrong flight.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid who wished they could go anywhere and do anything after watching those movies (and set up a bunch of super cool booby traps of course). But this holiday season, Casper discovered that reality is very different from the movies. 

On December 21, in an eerily similar journey to Kevin’s in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Casper ended up on the wrong plane and was separated from his family as a result. His mother helped him board his flight from Philadelphia to Fort Myers, where he would meet his grandmother, Maria Ramos, for the holidays. Yet, somehow, he ended up in Orlando instead.

Naturally, when the plane landed in Fort Myers and Casper wasn’t anywhere to be found, Ms. Ramos was terrified.

In an interview with WINK News, she said that the airline told her, ‘He’s not on this flight. He missed his flight.” She knew something happened because she had the check-in tag, and his luggage showed up in Fort Myers.

She then rushed on the plane to speak to the flight attendant, asking her, “Where’s my grandson? He was handed over to you at Philadelphia.”

Unfortunately, the flight attendant didn’t know what she was talking about, saying, “No. I had no kids with me.”

Luckily, soon after his plane landed, Casper was able to call her and let her know he was safe in Orlando, almost 4 hours away.

Spirit Airlines check-in at Orlando International Airport. Image: VIAVAL TOURS/Shutterstock
Spirit Airlines check-in at Orlando International Airport. Image: VIAVAL TOURS/Shutterstock

How did this happen?

Well, Ms. Ramos wants to know the same thing. Spirit Airlines has offered to reimburse her for the drive to Orlando, but that’s not what she cares about. She told WINK News,

“I want them to call me and tell me how my grandson ended up in Orlando. How did that happen? Did they get him out of the plane? Did the flight attendant . . . did she let him go by himself, and he jumped in the wrong plane by himself?” 

There are many questions without answers for this family as Spirit Airlines begins “conducting an internal investigation.” So far, there are no explanations.

Michael Lopardi, a media relations manager for Spirit Airlines, sent a statement to WINK News saying: 

“On Dec. 21, an unaccompanied child . . . was incorrectly boarded on a flight to Orlando (MCO). The child was always under the care and supervision of a Spirit Team Member, and as soon as we discovered the error, we took immediate steps to communicate with the family and reconnect with them. We take the safety and responsibility of transporting all of our Guests seriously . . . We apologize to the family for this experience.”

While Ms. Ramos isn’t satisfied, the situation ended well with everyone safe and reunited. Although it’s a shame the Orlando airport doesn’t have slides like this one in Singapore, it could have kept Casper entertained while waiting for his grandmother.

Have you ever boarded the wrong flight? Did you ever fly alone when you were younger? Let us know what happened in the comments below.

Written By

Ella Shauman has recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature. She loves to travel, write, and spend time with family and friends.

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