Airline Mistakenly Flies Unaccompanied 6-Year-Old to Wrong Airport

During the bustling holiday travel season, a 6-year-old boy flying solo for the first time was mistakenly transported to the wrong airport by Spirit Airlines. The child, Casper, was supposed to land at Southwest Florida Airport in Fort Myers after departing from Philadelphia. However, his grandmother, Maria Ramos, was shocked to discover that her grandson had not arrived as scheduled.

Ramos was informed that Casper had not boarded the flight to Fort Myers. Only his luggage had made the journey. Ramos, who had the check-in tag, was bewildered by the news. She recounted rushing to a flight attendant, asking about her grandson’s whereabouts, only to be told that no children had been on the flight.

In a twist of events, Casper had been flown to Orlando International Airport, over 200 miles north of his intended destination. Ramos was forced to undertake a four-hour drive to retrieve her grandson from Orlando, describing the incident as one of the most terrifying experiences of her life.

Spirit Airlines has offered to compensate Ramos for her unexpected journey. However, Ramos is seeking an explanation rather than reimbursement. She wants to understand how her grandson ended up in Orlando and whether he was taken off the plane.

Spirit Airlines admitted to the error in a statement. The airline’s spokesperson, Michael Lopardi, confirmed that on December 21, the young passenger was incorrectly boarded on a flight to Orlando instead of Fort Myers. He assured that the child was always under the care and supervision of a Spirit team member and that immediate steps were taken to inform the family and reunite them once the mistake was discovered.

The airline is conducting an internal investigation into the incident and has apologized to the family. Spirit Airlines allows unaccompanied minors aged between 5 and 14 to travel domestically across the US on direct flights.

This significant blunder occurred on what the FAA reported as the peak day of holiday travel. On December 21, 2023, nearly 50,000 flights took off across the US, filled with holiday travelers.