United Airlines Apologizes after Putting Unaccompanied Minor on the Wrong International Flight
United Airlines released a statement after leaving the parents of a fourteen-year-old boy distraught; he was placed on the wrong flight by their employees. His mother took to Twitter in a panic to call the attention of United to the horrible mistake.
Brenda Berg got angry after realizing that her son (a minor) was on the wrong flight to Germany and like any other scared mother, she did everything possible to get her son out of the mess.
United Airlines came under serious fire when the mother of 14-year-old Anton Berg took to Twitter to alert them of a colossal error by their employees. This lack of efficiency, however, means her son will be going to Germany.
Anton was flying to Sweeden to meet his grandparents, but unfortunately, things went south thanks to United Airlines employees at Newark Airport in New Jersey.
According to WRAL, the officials helped Anton board a flight to Dusseldorf, Germany, which was far from his intended destination.
Since the young man was an unaccompanied minor, he was asked to be escorted to his flight by an official, and this service cost his parents $150.
But once Anton stepped on board, he noticed something seemed out of place. Not only was his plane which shouldn't be ready for takeoff yet about to move, but those on the flight were also speaking German.
The fourteen-year-old quickly alerted his parents back home in Raleigh, N.C which left them panicked.
“He texted me because he still was on his phone, ‘There are a lot of people speaking German on this flight. That’s kind of odd, isn’t it?’ I said, ‘That is kind of odd,'” his father Christer Berg told WRAL.
TRYING TO REACH THE AIRLINE
After learning of the mixup, the parents tried to reach the airline, but all their efforts seemed futile. The mother, however, decided to do something millennials would do, she resorted to using the social media app Twitter to call United's attention to her situation. She tweeted,
“@United @SAS my son is in the wrong plane!!! EWR you put him on a plane to Germany!!!!”
Brenda, however, told WRAL she resulted to this because they couldn't reach the airline.
“We had no way to reach the airline,” she told WRAL. “We were sitting there with a child on the runway about to fly to Germany – the wrong country – and we had no way to reach them. We realized they had no idea where our son was, so I was [in] absolute panic.”
The plane finally headed back to the terminal when Anton, upon request from his parents, alerted a flight attendant of the mishap.
Anton, however, was unable to meet his original flight but was booked on another by the airline. He arrived safely in Sweden to his grandparents. Throughout the ordeal, Brenda kept updating her followers, and she claimed United did not call her even when her son got off the plane.
The angered mom also shared an image of her call on-hold for over an hour with United.
“ironically, @United if you hadn’t accompanied him, this would never have happened. He wouldn’t have counted on you to know what you were doing. #NeverUnitedAir,” Brenda tweeted.
Brenda frustratedly in a conversation with WRAL said,
“When somebody says unaccompanied minor, wrong airplane, wrong country, everybody should’ve stepped up and done something,” before calling the mistake by United a “cosmic failure.”
The airline, however, addressed the issue in a statement to People stating that Anton's safety was their top priority.
“The safety and well-being of all of our customers is our top priority, and we have been in contact with the young man’s family to confirm his safety and to apologize for this issue,” the statement read.
They continued by stating that once Eurowings realized that Anton was on the wrong flight, the plane returned to the gate so he could alight.
The statement also mentioned that they refunded the unaccompanied minor fee of $150 and made sure to confirm that Anton had safely reached his destination.
Regardless, Brenda was irritated by the way the airline handled the situation and made this known in her last tweet.
“Our son landed 11 hrs ago, and it has been 24 hrs since our last communication from @United,” she wrote. “Apparently they are saying that they have been in regular contact and they cared for our son. Not true."
She ended the tweet saying they are still waiting for an apology from United and will also like to know the airline's plans in making sure this never happens again.