A 14-year-old boy flying alone was escorted onto the wrong flight by United Airlines staff. The airlines have apologized, but the boy's mother is not satisfied.
If a minor flies alone, the parents have the option to pay a fee to have their child accompanied. Generally, parents make this choice to ensure that their child gets where they need to go safely. But for 14-year-old Anton Berg of North Carolina, that did not quite work out.
Anton's parents had sent him on a solo flight to Sweden to visit his grandparents, while they remained home in Raleigh, North Carolina. Because of his young age, they paid $150 so he would be accompanied to his flight. However, he was escorted onto a plane headed to Germany by mistake.
Although the airline staff was assumed to be the more accountable party, it was the young teenager who realized something was wrong. When he noticed that a majority of the passengers around him were speaking German, he texted his parents, Christer and Brenda Berg.
Fortunately, Anton was able to alert a flight attendant and deboard before take off. However, United failed to update his parents and they were stricken with panic.
We paid @united a fee to have you watch him. This has been going on for 20 minutes and NO ONE has called us!!!— Brenda Berg (@BrendaBerg) June 30, 2019
Not knowing where her son was, Brenda Berg tried calling the airline. She waited on hold for over an hour, not knowing whether Anton was en route to Germany or safely off the plane. Frantic for answers, Brenda began posting on Twitter, hoping that someone from United would see her tweets and expedite contact. No one did.
They are booking him through Copenhagen. He will have 7hours of additinal travel. Still NO one has called from @united. I finally got through to a rep after 52 minutes and i am back on hold. Warning to everyone. Never trust @United with your children.— Brenda Berg (@BrendaBerg) June 30, 2019
Finally, Anton spoke with his father over the phone to let him know he had gotten off and was not on the way to Germany. He had missed his flight to Sweden in the meantime but was rebooked onto the next one. His parents were also refunded the $150 they spent to have him escorted.
Brenda stated how ironic it was that she paid to have someone help her son get where he needed to go, but he would have been better off on his own. She also expressed frustration about the airline's failure to stay in contact with her during this scary situation.