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Family Upset After Their 11-Year-Old Son Was Kicked Off A Flight For Traveling Without An Adult

Photo: Today/ Youtube.com
Kids, Mom

Traveling anywhere by yourself can be stressful but it can be even worse when you’re just a child. 

One family in Australia is upset after their 11-year-old son was kicked off a flight for traveling without an adult. 

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The son was accompanied by his 13-year-old sister, who according to the mom was cleared to fly without an adult. 

The mother, Emma Garland, recounted the story while appearing on Channel 9’s “Today” show. 

The flight to the Gold Coast was originally planned to include her husband, her son 11-year-old Jack, and her daughter 13-year-old Scarlett.

However, due to an unforeseen work emergency Garland’s husband was no longer able to fly with the children. 

Since Garland herself was unable to fly with the children, she called the airline company Jetstar to confirm if they were allowed to fly by themselves. 

According to Garland, she was told by a spokesperson it would be okay if they were unaccompanied by an adult because Scarlett was 13. 

When looking on Jetstar’s website it does clearly state that “passengers aged 12 and above may travel alone (subject to meeting our Independent Traveller Requirements).”

However, before the flight was able to take off Jack was reportedly taken off the flight while Scarlett remained in her seat, unaware of what was happening.

“Just the fact that Scarlett and Jack were flying on their own was stressful enough,” said Garland, but to have her child removed from the flight in a place he wasn’t familiar with was the worst of all. 

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When on the phone with her son, Garland said he was “inconsolable” and “beside himself.”

But to Garland’s horror, Scarlett was unable to exit the flight.

“As we were trying to understand what was going on and why he had been taken off the flight, I said to the Jetstar consultant, ‘can you please go and get Scarlett off the flight so at least the kids could be together,’” Garland continued. “She said, ‘I’m sorry gates are closed, the flight has departed.’”

Luckily, Garland’s in-laws were able to get Jack at the Sidney airport while she hopped on a flight to go get Scarlett. 

Following this, Jetstar sent a statement to News AU.

“We sincerely apologize to Ms. Garland and her family for the extremely distressing situation,” the statement began. 

“While we enjoy welcoming young passengers on board our flights, Jetstar does not offer an unaccompanied minor service and young passengers must meet certain requirements in order to travel independently with us, including being of secondary school age.”

The statement also reassured that they will be looking into who told Garland the false information because they were “clearly informed of this before her son traveled.”

They also committed to doing better in the future and ensuring Garland she will receive a refund for her troubles.

However, Garland has yet to receive a refund nor an apology directly from the airline itself. 

“There’s been absolutely no contact with me, no refund… I would just like someone to pick up the phone and apologize for what’s happened and reassure everyone that this won’t happen to another family.”

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Victoria Soliz is a writer with YourTango who covers news and entertainment content. Her work explores pop culture trends, film and TV, and celebrity news