A family is furious after their 11-year-old son was kicked off a Jetstar flight for traveling without an adult.
Jack Garland, 11, and his sister Scarlett, 13, boarded a flight from Sydney to the Gold Coast in October. Their father was supposed to fly with them but had to come back out due to a last-minute work commitment.
During an appearance on Channel 9’s “Today” show, their mother, Emma Garland, claimed that she contacted the airline prior to her children’s travels to make sure they were still able to fly without their dad. They allegedly said yes since Scarlett was 13.
But Emma claimed that Jack was removed from his seat without explanation given to Scarlett – who stayed on the plane and arrived in the Gold Coast without her brother or even any idea where he was.
“It was one of the most horrendous days of our lives as a family,” the mom told hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon, who described the incident as a “parent’s worst nightmare.
“Just the fact that Scarlett and Jack were flying on their own for the first time was stressful enough, then to get the call from Jack saying he had been taken off the flight and he didn’t really understand why — he was just beside himself .”
Emma noted that her son was “inconsolable” when she spoke to him on the phone.
The budget airline has since apologized for a statement sent to News.com. AU as a spokesperson admitted that the staff onboard the flight “should have handled the situation better.”
“We sincerely apologize to Ms. Garland and her family for the extremely distressing situation,” the airline stated.
“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 spokesperson explained.
“A secondary school passenger can travel independently but must be at least 15 years old to accompany a child under secondary school age.”
“We also apologize to Ms. Garland for the delay she has experienced in obtaining a refund and can confirm that refunds are being processed for her family’s entire booking,” the airline added.
But Emma said she’d rather have “reassurance that this won’t happen to another family one day” than any form of apology.