Continental Apologizes for Losing Child; Girl Found in NJ

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cont.jpgA 10-year-old girl flying by herself was put on the wrong plane and sent to the wrong airport. Now, Continental Airlines has apologized.

The girl was supposed to fly from Boston to Cleveland. But, she ended up on a plane to Newark. Miriam Kamens’ family says they realized something was wrong when she didn’t arrive in Cleveland. They say airline staff put Miriam on the wrong plane and neither flight crew noticed. The girl’s father says for 45 minutes he didn’t know where she was.

“She’s off on her trip to visit her grandparents on summer vacation and then she’s gone, just, like, evaporated into thin air,” said Miriam’s father Jonathan Kamens. “It ‘s scary. The number of people who must have failed to do what they’re supposed to do in order for this to happen is mind boggling.”

Continental claims the mix-up was a miscommunication among staff members. Miriam was put on a flight from Newark to Cleveland and arrived a few hours late.

(Source: ABC 13)


23 COMMENTS

  1. The number of people who must have failed to do what they’re supposed to do in order for this to happen is mind boggling.”

    It’s also mind boggling how a father could let a 10 year old girl fly by herself!

  2. I kmow someone else that this happened to (not sure which airline), and the airline gave the whole family round trip tickets anywhere in the world, to avoid a potentially large lawsuit. They took their (large) family to Eretz Yisrael.

  3. Why is every mistake warrant immediate suiing? I would consider the father irresponsible to allow his 10 year old child to travel alone. Why should it be legal to allow minor’s to travel alone? Even with supposed care from the flight attendants, I would not feel secure that my childs life and safety is in the hands of some shiktzah that not necessarily knows how to deal with children. I am more suprised at the concept of allowing kids to travel alone than at Continental for messing up.

  4. Berliner- its mindboggling that he allowed his 10 year old to travel together with a airline employee that was supposed to make sure all went smoothly? Wow! Your mind gets boggled easily! Stop being so quick to judge!

  5. #1 Every airline has an unaccompanied minor policy and most charge the parents a fortune over and above the ticket price. My children have travelled across the country many times this way. Not always can the parents go too. Continental airlines has one of the most expensive unaccompanied minor fees but the staff needs to be better trained. From experience I can tell you that there are airlines that do a good job of keeping an eye on the children and others don’t and the fee is not the factor.

  6. #1 – that is completely ridiculous. you donot know why she had to fly by herself – maybe there was no other way to get here there – and a ten year old girl is old enough to fly by herself – the point is she is not by herself – she is supposed to have proper supervision. kids for various reasons have to fly by themselves. The airline has arrangements for children in these situations. The parents relied on the airline to actually do what they said they would do. There is nothing wrong with that.

  7. I think that is ridiculous!! I myself have four kids and I would never send a 10 year old on a plane with no one to supervise them. The airline is busy enough as it is and the staff have their own jobs-how can any parent rely on the to watch over a child who is not a bar-daas. I think it should be illegal to send kids on a plane by themselves and one day when G-d forbid something bad happens to a child-it will be. Think about possible child molesters that can be on a plane with a bathroom providing plenty of opportunities. Think about how a criminal can strike a conversation and build a trust with a minor and then later get him/her alone. In today’s day and age how any concerned parent can allow a child to go on a plane to me is……”mind-boggling”!!

  8. Berliner-

    Having been that girl who flew by herself numerous times so that I would merit summer time spent with my grandparents A”H, I am truly puzzled by your remark. Why would I expect my father or mother to escort me to another state or country in my pursuit to join family there? As long as there is supervision on this journey (supervision that I received and fully enjoyed for all the attention and accompanying trinkets given), what is so mind-boggling about that?? Could you not fathom how a child just cannot always be accompanied by a parent when traveling?

  9. #10, I agree with Berliner. Just because you did it and nothing happened B”H doesn’t mean that its right. Not in this time and age, especially when you have people prowling around IN OUR communities that we are being told to warn our children about. Summer time with grand parents is very nice but doesn’t condone a child of 10 years old flying by herself or himself. If it is so important, let a parent accompany the child.

  10. As # 9 posted…..

    Considering the world we live in (crazy to say the least) I don’t think it is very responsible for a parent(s) to send a ten year on a plane by herself – especially a girl. No, I do not expect the parents to have to travel with them, but the rule should be……
    If the parents (or an adult) can’t go along, the child does not go!
    If the grandparents are so eager to see their grandchildren, better to pick yourself up than to put the grandchild in danger. YES, IN TODAY’S WORLD IT IS A DANGER TO SEND A 10 YEAR OLD ON A PLANE BY HERSELF.

  11. The problem is that ever since 9/11, security measures have gotten so strict that parents can’t accompany their children to the plane. I used to fly alone to my grandparents all the time starting at around 10. But whichever parent took me to the airport would get a pass that allowed them past security, and even onto the plane to help me get settled; once on the plane, the stewardesses looked after me, and my grandparents would get passes to allow them to meet me at the gate in Florida. I don’t think they allow that anymore but I’m not sure(I was 14 when 9/11 happened, so by then I was perfectly capable of getting on to the plane by myself).
    What really makes me wonder is why the kid didn’t realize something was amiss when they announced “Hello, welcome to Continental flight blah blah blah to Newark”. If she didn’t know the name of the city/airport she was traveling to, then indeed, the parents should not have had her traveling alone.

  12. the whole point is that the girl was not by herself! The airline personnel were supposed to be accompanying her. Clearly the father did not just put his daughter on the plane and say good bye and good luck. the whole point is that he made proper arrangements – ones that the airlines advertise /charge for – so that she would not have to travel alone. So it is strange to me that people keep criticizing the father.

  13. Recently I sat on a flight from Eretz Yisroel to here next to an unaccompanied minor. The staff person who was responsible seated him, came to check up on him many times through the course of the flight and helped him off the plane. I was very impressed.

  14. Its all the same people who let the nanny take the kids of the school bus, or leave their children for a week with the nanny and go on vacation.
    its ironic that the same person who traveled by her self as a kid doesn’t understand now as an adult what the problem is to send a kid alone on a plane………

  15. 14 (Gourmet),

    I have taken kids to the airport who were flying home from yeshiva as UAM’s (UnAccompanied Minor) and the sender ALWAYS goes to the gate!! We have to go because we need to make sure the plane leaves.

    I am willing to bet that whoever sent this maydil from Boston messed up.

  16. #19
    unless you know EXACTLY what the reason was for allowing this girl to fly without a parent, please dont judge. and please dont judge those of us who work either. i will have someone pick up my son from play group next year and watch him until i get home from work…..does that make me a terrible parent?
    would you rather i dont work and we struggle even more than we already are? besides, dont you think the parent/s feel bad enough without some stranger throwing in his two cents?
    what amazes me is how nice frum people can judge others and make judgements about OTHER PEOPLES lives.
    im no nevi’ah, but i have a feeling that is not really what Hashem wants from us.

  17. COME ON! to all those who criticize the family…stop looking for a fight! I have flown as a minor when I was younger then 10! I was flying to relatives on a longer flight then from boston to cleveland. They took such care of me that I felt safe the whole time. they wouldnt let me out of their sight and went with me everywhere, giving me little stickers and activity books while we waited to board. By the way…a girl at 10 should know how to read and know that the flight says “to newark” and not cleveland. the airline made a mistake but it was not a mistake to send her! dont judge the family!

  18. Today’s news:

    2 girls put on wrong Continental Express flights

    HOUSTON – Continental Airlines is blaming “miscommunication among staff” for two different unaccompanied girls being placed on wrong Continental Express flights over the weekend.

    Eight-year-old Taylor Williams of College Station ended up in Fayetteville, Ark., instead of Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday. She was sent back to Houston and then to Charlotte to see her father.

    Her mother, Wendy Babineaux, says she’s never seen “so much incompetence in all my life.”

    The next day 10-year-old Miriam Kamens, taking off from Logan Airport in Boston, was sent to Newark, N.J., instead of Cleveland to visit her grandparents.

    Jonathan Kamens says for 45 minutes no one could tell him where his daughter was.

    Continental spokeswoman Kelly Cripe says both flights were being loaded at the same time from the same doorway.

    —- they are getting good at this.