A lawsuit filed in New York County Supreme Court alleges that American Airlines was negligent in their handling of two unaccompanied minors during a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina. The civil lawsuit was filed by Amber Vencill, a mother from Jacksonville regarding a pretty unbelievable incident with her 10- and 12-year-old sons.
Connecting flight canceled, confusion ensues
According to the suit, the boys were flying as unaccompanied minors from Missouri to Syracuse, New York with a layover in Charlotte. Vencill had paid American Airlines for their unaccompanied minor chaperone services.
After multiple delays, the connecting flight from Charlotte to Syracuse was ultimately canceled. This is when the situation descended into confusion and distress.
The airline told the boys’ designated pickup person in Syracuse that they would be on a 9 AM flight the next day. However, the airline emailed Vencill saying the boys would be on a 5:21 PM flight instead.
Airport employee intervenes
An airport employee unaffiliated with American Airlines helped get her in contact with one son, who told her they had not eaten or had anything to drink since the previous night. He also said the room they were in was freezing cold, and that an airport employee, not the airline, ended up buying the boys food and drinks.
Mother seeks damages for negligence
The lawsuit alleges that American Airlines acted negligently and caused Vencill severe emotional distress during the ordeal, who feared her sons had been injured, lost, or even kidnapped.
The suit states that the airline failed to follow its own policies regarding accommodations for unaccompanied minors stranded overnight due to a canceled flight. Vencill is seeking damages for the airline’s alleged “callous disregard” for her children’s wellbeing.
If all this is true, I’m hoping American pays out the nose.