ORLANDO, Florida. – Florida mother says Southwest Airlines needs to better monitor underage passengers.
“It definitely got on my nerves,” said Celebration’s Jamie Brown.
She said she thought an adult would look after her 13-year-old daughter Bailey when she flew from Baltimore to Orlando a couple of weeks ago, especially after her flight was delayed by seven hours.
“Most of the time she was left alone,” Brown explained. “After her plane boarded, it was turned back to the airport due to weather delays.”
Brown said her daughter made it home safely, but the worried mother decided to file a complaint with Southwest Airlines and finally received a response.
“I got a call from a supervisor and was told that their policy is that they are not responsible for children of this age if there are delays due to weather conditions or other delays beyond their control,” Brown said.
We have reviewed Southwest Airlines’ policies and found that children between the ages of 12 and 17 traveling alone are considered “junior travelers” and not unaccompanied minors. The policy states:
“The young traveler must be of sufficient maturity and capable of traveling alone, including but not limited to check-in, security check-in, boarding, disembarking and baggage claim.” Jamie says: “I would advise changing this policy. I understand that this is their policy. This is too long for children of this age to be left alone. It is not normal”.
Southwest Airlines released a statement saying, in part, “We apologize that the customer’s experience was far from positive and our customer engagement team contacted the family to discuss their individual situation.”