Mark Robertson

Mark Robertson

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Georgia Mom Slams American Airlines for losing her daughter at Miami Int'l

An angry Georgia mother is speaking out a week after, she said, American Airlines abandoned her 12-year-old daughter after landing at Miami International Airport.

According to its website, American Airlines requires children age 5-14 traveling alone to use its unaccompanied minor service. The airline charges a $150 fee for the service. The website says employees will board the child early and escort the child to the authorized adult picking them up when they land.

Monica Gilliam says American failed her and her daughter. She posted more about her daughter’s experience on TikTok. As of Friday, it has over 1.7 million views on the app.

The 12 year old was given a lanyard to indicate she was unaccompanied, but when the plane arrived in Miami, when she saw everyone get up to leave, so did she. In fact a flight attendant waved at her as she left the plane, instead of keeping her on the flight so she could be delivered to her father who was patiently waiting at the airport.

“They’ve abandoned her on the plane,” she said. “I’m getting chills right now. It’s Miami being a huge hub for human trafficking, like, the thought of that could have been the last time I saw her, it’s too much.”

An American Airlines representative assured her the girl would make it to Miami safely.

Her daughter’s father had to use Facetime to help the 12-year-old navigate her way through the airport to meet him at baggage claim. “She was nervous and she was scared. But she did exactly what her dad told her to do to get her to safety.” Fortunately.

Gilliam said American Airlines apologized to her and offered her three free flights, but she did not accept the offer. “I have no plans of flying with American Airlines again because what they did is inexcusable. And I have no faith in them at all now, because they didn’t do their job. And they lost my child.”

“I don’t want any other kids to be scared. I don’t want any other kids to be left in a situation that’s potentially going to change their lives in a really bad way,” said Gilliam, “and I’m really disappointed about the whole situation.”

'On the way out, no American Airlines employees stopped her to see if she had an adult, not one Miami airport employee stopped her and even the TSA security agent-before she left the secure area into baggage claim-stopped her.'

She said she was told that an American flight attendant had been suspended.

Here is the video she posted online:

What SHOULD customers get for American Airlines' $150 unaccompanied minors policy?

American Airlines' 'unaccompanied minors' policy says those aged five to 14 have to use their service. It says those aged between 15 and 17 can use it but it is optional. 

The system costs $150 to use each way on top of the ticket price and there is a further charge for siblings flying together.

Its website says it includes: 'Early boarding to allow extra time to get settled and meet the flight attendants.

'Kids-only lounges in our hub cities for flight connections Complimentary Kids' Kits from Quaker with snacks and activities (for ages 5 – 10, in hub cities).

'An airport escort to help your child to the gate for flight connections Escorting the child to the authorized adult picking them up when they land.

'Keep in mind, our flight attendants will be busy with onboard duties and can't continuously monitor your child during their flight. Let your child know to ring the call button if they need anything.'

Here is video from a Miami TV station so you can see how they covered this horrifying story:

American Airlines Boeing 767-300/ER

Photo: Getty Images

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