A father from North Carolina received the shock of his life when he received a phone call notifying him that his 13-year-old daughter was left alone crying at an airport in San Francisco.
Douglas Davila's daughter was heading from Raleigh-Durham International Airport to Spokane, Washington, with a stopover in San Francisco. Although the family paid the unaccompanied lower fare, the young woman says she was never escorted by an Alaska Airlines representative. Distressed, she found a good Samaritan who let her use her cell phone.
"It's hard when you hear your son or daughter say: & # 39; I'm alone in San Francisco & # 39;", Douglas Dávila told WTVD. "My heart was in my throat. I was shaking."
THE LITTLE NIGHT OF A FATHER: An RDU flight took a chaotic turn for a 13-year-old boy who landed alone in California. Douglas and Maria Davila say they paid @AlaskaAir a lower unaccompanied rate, but those services were not provided. Story tonight at 11 in # abc11. pic.twitter.com/Bpf3K1HsUw
– Akilah Davis (@ DavisABC11) August 23, 2019
The Alaska Airlines website states that those who pay the unaccompanied minor rate of $ 75 can rely on their constant supervision. "Once you have delivered your child to our care, he or she will remain under supervision at all times," reads the website.
While the airline reimbursed the $ 75 fee to Davila, they responded in a statement claiming that Davila's daughter was received by an Alaska Airlines employee at the San Francisco International Airport. However, they say they asked him to wait for a delay due to a mechanical problem.
"Caring for a child who flies alone, without a tutor, is our top priority. We see them as the most precious burden. Our investigation, which includes specific records that tracked the movement of our young guest, indicates that employees met her when her flight arrived and accompanied her to our Service Center at the San Francisco International Airport, ”Alaska Airlines said in a statement sent to WDTV.
"Our guest was asked to wait with the employees at the Service Center, since her connection flight to Seattle was delayed by 1.3 hours due to a mechanical problem. While we had a follow-up of our young guest all the time, We understand that she may have felt unsupervised in the crowded area and that is why we deeply feel it. We also believe that we could have done a better job communicating with her. Given her experience, we are carefully evaluating our chain of custody procedures for unaccompanied minors by doing connections through the OFS and we will strengthen processes to ensure that our young guests feel safe and cared for at all times while in our care. "
According to WTVD, the family would like to receive a full refund for the flight, in addition to the reimbursement for the unaccompanied minor fare.
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