In a mix-up that sounds like a movie plot, two five-year-olds were put on the wrong flights to Boston and New York City.
One of the boys, returning to his family in New York City from the Dominican Republic, was mistakenly put on the flight to Boston, the New York Daily News reported.
Maribel Martinez was waiting for her son at John F. Kennedy Airport, in New York City, when JetBlue staff delivered a different boy. Imagine everyone's surprise—and terror—when she told them: “This is not my child.”
“I was freaking out,” Martinez told the Daily News. “I didn’t know if he was alive. I still haven’t stopped crying.”
It took about three hours to locate her 5-year-old son, who had ended up in Boston. In an intriguing detail, the boy who went to New York City had Martinez' son passport, which could have been related to the mix-up.
JetBlue gave Martinez a refund for the flight as well as a $2,100 but she said that the next flight the boy took—with his father—was on Delta.
“While the children were always under the care and supervision of JetBlue crewmembers, we realize this situation was distressing for the families,” a JetBlue spokesperson said in a statement to Travel + Leisure. “In addition to extending our apologies, we refunded the flights and offered the families credit towards future JetBlue flights. We are also reviewing the incident with our leadership and Santiago airport team to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.”
Five years old is the youngest allowed age for unaccompanied minors, per JetBlue's policy. The airline charges an extra $100 fee for unaccompanied minors, and limits the number per flight to three.