Parents slam Frontier airlines after their unaccompanied children were put up in a hotel room with strangers
The parents have hired a lawyer as both their kids were sent to another city and put up in a hotel by Frontier Airlines without their knowledge
A Frontier Airlines employee reportedly took two unaccompanied children to a hotel room after their flight was diverted due to bad weather, and now the parents are furious as they were not informed. On July 22, nine-year-old Carter Gray and seven-year-old Etta Gray were flying from Des Moines, Iowa, to Orlando International Airport to meet their mother Jennifer Ignash.
Due to severe weather, Frontier flight 1756 was forced to circle for 45 minutes before being diverted to Atlanta. Jennifer grew worried after she could neither contact her children nor the airline company to find out why they hadn't arrived. The parents only heard from their children after midnight on July 23 when Carter borrowed a cell phone from another child to call his father Chad Gray.
The parents of two young children say their kids were sent to another city and put up in a hotel by Frontier Airlines, all without their knowledge. https://t.co/fuGG580eND— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) August 9, 2018
According to the parents, the siblings were put in separate rooms with older kids they did not know and were just offered water and Rice Krispies treats for the entire duration.
Speaking to the Orlando Sentinel, the father said, "At least give them some Chick-fil-A."
However, the kids were eventually given a McDonald's breakfast voucher the next morning before taking a flight that would reach Orlando at 1 pm.
The whole situation was described as "chaotic" by Chad, who said his children "suffered nightmares" later.
During an appearance on the Today show on Thursday, he said, "No supervisor tried to call us, no phone calls, no emails, nothing like that ever took place."
"We were really in the dark."
He also said the kids were not properly supervised in the hotel rooms and that his daughter was not placed in a booster seat during the car ride from the airport to the hotel, which is illegal.
Children flying as unaccompanied minors on Frontier Airlines flight end up in hotel room with airline employee after plane was diverted. pic.twitter.com/cjkYYtuFRn— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 9, 2018
"I think there needs to be set policies and procedures put in place," he said. "I think they probably escaped this incident with very little damage, but that may not be the case if it happens again."
That said, this was probably the first and last time Chad let his children fly without company. He also had a warning for other parents who might let their children fly alone.
"Parents definitely need to do a little more research about this and worry about it more. Never in our wildest dreams did we think this would happen. It was really a disaster."
However, according to Frontier, the children were attended to "at all times" by a supervisor. The airline also claimed that the kids were provided food during the unexpected layover and were in touch with their parents.
In a statement, they said, "We understand how an unexpected delay caused by weather can be stressful for a parent and our goal is to help passengers get to their destinations as quickly and safely as possible."