We all know air travel can be miserable, but two children may have experienced a hell that adults will never see. One Florida mother has accused American Airlines of leaving her two young children locked in a room overnight without food or water, the New York Post reports.
Amber Vencill, the mother in question, has filed a suit against the airline in which she says that this past summer, her two young sons — 10- and 12-years old— were traveling from Missouri to New York as unaccompanied minors when a flight delay and cancellation led to a frustrating situation
The suit says that Vencill’s partner— a man only identified by the name of Ted — was contacted by the airline and told that the kids would be “placed in a “nice room for unaccompanied minors where there were beds and their own bathroom.” He was also given a phone number that was supposedly a direct line to the children in this room. But nothing was what it seemed, Vencill alleges:
American Airlines emailed Vencill at 11:40 p.m. July 30, 2022, telling her that her sons were scheduled to fly at 5 p.m. the next day — but “conflicting information” left her with no idea about what flight they’d be on.
A phone number the carrier gave her was no use and she spent hours unable to get in touch with her boys until an employee at Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport connected her to one of the kids, the suit states.
The child informed his mom “that they had not had anything to eat or drink since the night before, not even a pretzel or snacks that are usually given out by the airline,” according to the filing.
“The room was freezing, and the children spent the night on a sofa with the lights on. Apparently, the children had been placed in a lost children’s room,” it continues.
According to the suit, an employee who didn’t even work for American finally gave the boys food and drink before they got on their flight.
Vencill is suing the airline for an unspecified amount in damages. She’s alleging that American was “reckless, careless, and negligent” and broke its policies and procedures when it “misplaced” the children. Vencill is also claiming the airline didn’t offer to investigate why the boys were placed in the room or how anything else transpired. When she contacted customer service, she says she was just offered an apology and a refund of her $150 fee for the unaccompanied minor service.
David Jaroslawicz, Vencill’s attorney, said the kids were lucky. “Despite what happened, they’re very lucky the children didn’t end up in Mexico or Latin America or wherever. Nobody knew where they were.”