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Mum fuming after 11-year-old son is kicked off flight and left stranded at the airport

Emma Guinness

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| Last updated 

Mum fuming after 11-year-old son is kicked off flight and left stranded at the airport

Featured Image Credit: RayArt Graphics / Alamy Stock Photo Alamy / Xiaolei Wu

One mum was left fuming when her 11-year-old son was allegedly stranded at an airport.

Emma Garland revealed that her two children had been booked to fly to the Gold Coast of Australia with their dad, but he had to cancel last-minute because of work.

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Not wanting to waste the cost of their flight, she asked their airline, Jetstar, if her 13-year-old daughter could supervise her younger brother on the trip.

While Jetstar allegedly agreed to this arrangement, when the children boarded the plane, it was seemingly revoked, and the boy was removed from the flight, leaving him stranded without his sister.

Neither of the pair understood why he had been taken off the flight at the time, but it was later revealed to be because he could not fly without an adult, meeting the airline's requirements present.

Emma said that her children were distraught at the airline's actions.

She told Today: "It was one of the most horrendous days of our lives as a family.

"Just the fact that [the daughter] and [the son] were flying on their own for the first time was stressful enough, then to get the call from [the son] saying he had been taken off the flight and he didn't really understand why - he was just beside himself.

"No one had told [the daughter] what was going on and by the time she got to the Gold Coast she was beside herself not knowing what had happened to her brother."

Thankfully, her son's family were able to collect him quickly from the Sydney airport the pair were flying from after he was left alone.

The 11-year-old was reportedly stranded at the airport. Credit: Alamy / Xiaolei Wu
The 11-year-old was reportedly stranded at the airport. Credit: Alamy / Xiaolei Wu

Although the airline has since apologised for the incident, Emma claims that she has not been given a refund.

Jetstar told Today: "We sincerely apologise to Ms Garland and her family for the extremely distressing situation and acknowledge our teams should have handled the situation better."

Their website states that a young passenger can only fly independently if they are in secondary school and can provide proof.

They must also be able to meet the airline's 'Independent Traveller Requirements.'

It reads: "For a young passenger aged 12 years or over, proof of age can be acceptable as proof of secondary school enrolment, because in Australia and New Zealand, anyone 12 years and over is generally required to be enrolled in secondary school.

"Children who are not yet 12 years old, enrolled in or attending secondary school will be regarded as unable to travel independently and must be accompanied by an appropriate accompanying passenger.

"An accompanying passenger for adults must be at least 15 years old."

Accompanying passengers on flights have to be at least 15 years old. Credit: Alamy /  Tiberius Photography
Accompanying passengers on flights have to be at least 15 years old. Credit: Alamy / Tiberius Photography

A Jetstar spokesperson told Tyla: "We sincerely apologise to Ms Garland and her family for the extremely distressing situation and acknowledge our teams should have handled this situation better.

"While we enjoy welcoming young passengers on board our flights, Jetstar does not offer an unaccompanied minor service and young passengers must meet certain requirements in order to travel independently with us, including being of secondary school age.

"A secondary school passenger can travel independently but must be at least 15 years old to accompany a child under secondary school age.

"We are looking into why Ms Garland was not clearly informed of this before her son travelled and how we can improve our processes to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

"We also apologise to Ms Garland for the delay she has experienced in obtaining a refund and can confirm that refunds are being processed for her family’s entire booking."

Topics: News, Travel

Emma Guinness
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