A father in North Carolina got upset after receiving a call from his 13-year-old daughter telling him that she had been left alone in a San Francisco airport.
Douglas Davila, father of the young girl, says his daughter was traveling from Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina to Spokane, Washington, reported Yahoo news.
According to FOX5, because of a mechanical problem, the plane was forced to make a stopover in San Francisco.
Douglas and his wife had paid a $75 unaccompanied minor fee. The young girl, however, claims she received no guidance or supervision from Alaska Airlines as to how she should proceed to her connecting flight.
The young girl, distraught, eventually found a passerby who allowed her to use his cell phone to call her parents. He then escorted her to the customer service counter.
“It’s hard when you hear your son or daughter say, ‘I’m by myself in San Francisco,’” Douglas Davila told ABC11. “My heart was in my throat. I was shaking.”
The Alaska Air website claims, “We welcome child passengers and will gladly escort them to their final destination. Our unaccompanied minor service is available for those aged 5 through 17 years old, on both our domestic and international flights.”
“Once you’ve handed your child over to our care, he or she will remain under supervision at all times,” the site also reads.
A PARENT’S WORST NIGHTMARE: A flight from RDU took a chaotic turn for a 13 year old who landed in California alone. Douglas and Maria Davila say they paid @AlaskaAir an unaccompanied minor fee, but those services weren’t provided. Story tonight at 11 on #abc11. pic.twitter.com/Bpf3K1HsUw
— Akilah Davis (@DavisABC11) August 23, 2019
“While under supervision, we expect your child passenger(s) to follow directions given by our agents and flight attendants.”
Although the airline refunded the $75 to the Davila family, they claim the young girl was met by a airlines employee upon arrival at the San Francisco International Airport.
Alaska Airlines said in a statement, “Caring for a child flying alone, without a guardian, is our top priority. We view them as the most precious cargo.”
“Our investigation, which includes specific records that tracked the movement of our young guest, indicates employees did meet her when her flight arrived and escorted her to our Service Center at San Francisco International Airport.
“Our guest was asked to wait with employees at the Service Center, as her connecting flight to Seattle was delayed for 1.3 hours due to a mechanical issue.
“While we had tabs on our young guest the entire time, we understand that she may have felt unsupervised in the crowded area and for that we are deeply sorry. We also think we could have done a better job communicating with her.
Two furious parents claim that Alaska Airlines recently “lost” track of their 13-year-old daughter during a layover in San Francisco, though they had paid an unaccompanied-minor fee for the teen’s trip https://t.co/IML6a7zzP9
— Good Day LA (@GDLA) August 28, 2019
“Given her experience, we are carefully evaluating our chain of custody procedures for unaccompanied minors making connections through SFO and will strengthen processes to make sure our young guests feel safe and attended to at all times while they are in our care.”
The Davila family is currently seeking a full refund for the flight on top of the $75 unaccompanied minor fee.