American Airlines is in hot water after a mother took to social media to share her son's upsetting experience while flying with the airline.
Hudson Hoyt, an eight year old from Beaverton, Ore., was thrilled to be able to attend a week long camp program specifically for children who suffer from neurofibromatosis, which is a disorder that causes tumors to grow on the nerve tissue. However, the ending to his trip did not go at all how he, or his mother, had planned. On his return flight home, Kristie Hoyt explains that her son, who was travelling with other minors, were left unsupervised, hungry and had to spend the night in a small room with few beds.
Amongst all of the flight delays, and changes, Kristie states that she was not once contacted by the airline. According to its website, American Airlines states that it it will reach out to the contacts listed on the child’s paperwork in the event of a cancellation, delay, or scheduling issues. In a series of Facebook posts, she relays the ordeal, calling out American Airlines for not following their own policy.
The story gets worse when parents began receiving updates from their children, letting them know that they have been delayed further, and that they hadn’t been fed:
Hudson told the Washington Post, “I felt sacred. When the plane stopped moving, I was afraid I was never going to see my mom again.”
The flight was delayed until the next morning. Hoyt told the Washington Post, “They stayed overnight in an unaccompanied-minor room, where some kids had to sleep on the floor because there were not enough beds and furniture.” To make matters worse, not only were the kids hungry, but many require medication to prevent migraines, and seizures. These medications should be taken with a meal.
The good news is that Hoyt was reunited with her son, but not without more confusion when she was asked by the airline to sign for a child that was not hers:
We can only imagine how good it felt to have her son back in her arms, safe and sound. Unfortunatley, for Hudson, who would love to go back to camp has developed afear of flying. His mom hopes that they will be able to work through this traumatic experience.
American Airlines issued an apology, and reports that the overnight delay was due to a mechanical issue.
“Our team is in the process of reaching out to the families involved and sincerely apologizes for this travel experience. We will be reviewing with our teams internally to understand how we can do better next time.”
Travelling is stressful as adults, so we can’t imagine the fear these children must have felt. For all kids involved, especially Hudson, we wish them all the best, and hope they will once again take to the sky. But, likely with a different airline.