Reported to the FAA

By | June 14, 2009

I just sent this to the FAA safety hotline.  They claim that submissions to the hotline are reviewed daily and I should hear back within three business days.  We’ll see.

My ten-year-old daughter was supposed to fly out of Boston this morning on Continental Airlines Flight 2541 to Cleveland as an unaccompanied minor.

Flight 1225 was being boarded from the same gate at the same time as flight 2541.

The gate agent put my daughter on the wrong flight.

No one on the 2541 flight crew noticed that they were missing an unaccompanied minor who was on the manifest and whose boarding pass had been scanned.

No one on the 1225 flight crew noticed that they had boarded a passenger not listed on the manifest, an unaccompanied minor to boot.

When my daughter arrived in Newark, no one there noticed that she had been put on the wrong flight and flown to the wrong destination city, despite the fact that her flight number and destination were clearly indicated on her unaccompanied minor paperwork.

Continental didn’t realize anything was wrong until my father-in-law showed up at the gate in Cleveland to collect my daughter and she wasn’t on the plane.

It took them 45 minutes after that to locate her, and that was only because *I* had noticed that they were boarding the Newark flight at the same time as the Cleveland flight and suggested to them that perhaps she had been put on the wrong flight.

I’m fairly certain that any number of FAR violations occurred here. I assume that manifests are required to be accurate and that flight crews are required to verify passenger counts. I assume that there are rules related to checking the paperwork of unaccompanied minors that were not followed here.

Surely some sort of investigation is warranted to determine what went wrong here and how to prevent it from happening again.

Please contact me as soon as possible about this.

Thank you.

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4 thoughts on “Reported to the FAA

  1. Brooke

    I don’t understand how Steve can say that the FAA have bigger fish to fry.
    A Continental employee LOST A CHILD! HELLO!!!!!!!

    This type of behavior is not okay or excusable. What if He had not notices the adjoining gate to his daughters departure? What then?

    Maybe the FAA won’t give a crap. That maybe. But I hope they do. You cant just ‘lose’ a child. This is not a minor violation.

  2. Steve

    I don’t see how the FAA is going to give a crap about this. Yes, there may have been a few minor FAA violations going on, but I’m pretty sure the FAA has much bigger fish to fry than this.

  3. David

    The FAA may not care unless having extra passengers is a weight issue on such a small plane. The TSA may care, however.

  4. Ryan

    Just wanted to point out that the previous two commenters must be Continental employees, short-sighted, or weak-minded. Or any combo of the above.

    Can anyone really believe that not matching up a passenger manifest isn’t important??

    Dan, do you think that the airlines, if offering a child accompaniment service, don’t have to look after the child? I don’t see you complaining about the fact that the airline botched their responsibilities, but only about the fact that someone was trusting enough to believe that the airline could follow through with its job.

    Mike, you don’t think it’s a safety issue that you can board a plane without having a ticket for that flight? You can’t see how that could possibly be hazardous?

    What a shame.


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