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Unaccompanied minor placed on wrong flight

Airline apologises for mix-up

When I was 14, I flew from Sydney to Germany unaccompanied. But with its normal efficiency, Lufthansa (who was still flying to Sydney at the time) got me to where I needed to be, without drama. Still, the journey was a pretty scary one. 


It’s a good thing then that this 14-year-old boy, who was recently placed on the wrong plane departing Newark Airport, noticed the error before his plane took off; it would’ve been a long, nerve-racking journey otherwise. 



The boy, who was due to travel from New Jersey to Stockholm (Sweden) with Scandinavian Air Services (SAS), ended up on a Eurowings Germany plane bound for Dusseldorf (Germany) after staff from United Airlines, who flew him from Raleigh to Newark, brought him to the wrong aircraft. 


The child’s mother, Brenda Berg, brought the incident to the airlines’ attention in a series of tweets to the carriers involved. 


"@United @SAS my son is in the wrong plane!!! EWR you put him on a plane to Germany!!!!" she tweeted. 


In an email to USA Today, United acknowledged and apologised for the incident.  


“The safety and well-being of all of our customers is our top priority, and we have been in frequent contact with the young man’s family to confirm his safety and to apologize for this issue," United Airlines spokesman Frank Benenati said.


"Once Eurowings recognized that he had boarded the wrong aircraft in Newark, the plane returned to the gate — before taking off."


Ms Berg told USA Today that her son had reached out to a cabin crew member when he realised he was on the wrong aircraft, but had to wait over five hours for the next flight to Sweden.

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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 3 July 2019

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