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Airline sends 10-year-old to wrong city

June 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Continental Airlines is apologizing for putting a little girl who was traveling alone on a flight to the wrong city.Miriam Kamens, 10, was supposed to fly from Boston to Cleveland to spend some time with her grandparents. Her father Jonathan took her to Boston's Logan Airport, walked her to the gate, and watched her walk through the doors to her plane. Unfortunately, the plane she boarded was headed for Newark, New Jersey, not Cleveland. Continental says there were two flights departing at similar times from the same doorway, and that there was miscommunication among airline staff.

Her father, Jonathan Kamens, had no idea anything was wrong until he got a call from the girl's grandfather in Cleveland, who said he was at the airport to pick up Miriam but she was nowhere to be found.

"She's off on her trip to visit her grandparents on summer vacation," said Mr. Kamens, "And then she's gone, evaporated into thin air. It's scary."

He contacted the airline, and said it took 45 minutes before they figured out the mistake. In fact, he says he was the one who suggested they check Newark, because he remembered a plane on the tarmac was headed there when he dropped off his daughter. Eventually, the airline located Miriam and put her on another flight to Cleveland.

Continental apologized and offered a refund, not of the ticket, but of the $75 fee the family paid for an unaccompanied minor to travel.

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