American Airlines is under scrutiny for its treatment of kids with disabilities who were stranded overnight.
Some parents are claiming that the airline did not notify them of a 13-hour delay on a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Portland, Oregon, that their children were on Friday. The children were without proper adult supervision, enough bathroom breaks, full meals, or access to medication, according to New York Post.
Kristie Hoyt, a mother of one of the unaccompanied minors who were returning home from a summer camp for children with a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis, claimed she had to contact the airline crew to find out what was happening with the flight following which she took to Facebook.
According to Hoyt, the children on the flight were not given dinner and were unable to take their medications, as they are required to take them with a meal. Also, some of the children did not have access to their medication, which was stored in a checked bag under the plane, according to KATU.
Kelly Phillips, one of the children on the flight, said the group looked after each other after they were brought into a room for unaccompanied minors to wait during the delay. “One of the older kids … it’s harsh for him to deal with a lot of stress,” she said. “He could end up having a seizure if he gets over-stressed. His seizure medication was on one of the carry-ons we had to put under the plane, so we tried to keep him calm.”
Parent Christina Monteith said she received an alarming text from her daughter, Sophie, who told her ‘Mommy, I’m so hungry. I haven’t had lunch, dinner, or breakfast.’ Little Sophie also claimed she was told she wasn’t allowed to switch off the lights in the minor room or use the bathroom regularly. Also, not all of the children were given pillows and blankets, Sophie said.
When the children finally arrived in Portland – 13 hours later than expected – Hoyt claims she was asked to sign for a child that wasn’t hers. In total, the mother says the children were forced to go more than 24 hours without a full meal. Hoyt, along with the other parents are now demanding answers. American Airlines told Fox News in a statement that the flight experienced a mechanical delay that caused it to remain in Charlotte overnight.
“Our team is in the process of reaching out to the families involved and sincerely apologizes for this travel experience. We will be reviewing with our teams internally to understand how we can do better next time,” the statement read.