What would you do if an airline lost your 10-year-old child?

Every parent has a story about one scary time that they accidentally lost sight of their child and went into a full-blown panic mode….so imagine how terrified Annie and Perry Klebahn must have been when United Airlines apparently "lost" their 10-year-old daughter, Phoebe, as she was flying alone to summer camp.

After an employee from United failed to meet Phoebe at her layover spot in Chicago, she missed her second flight to Traverse City, where her camp is located. Unfortunately, her parents weren't aware of this until the camp called to let them know Phoebe had not arrived.


The worried couple then began trying to track down their daughter by calling the airline. It wasn't until an hour later that the young girl was located and her parents were put a little more at ease.

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After Phoebe (eventually) arrived safely at camp, the Klebahn's wrote a letter to United about their concerns, in which they mentioned that the 10-year-old had repeatedly asked for help or for access to a phone during her layover, but kept being told to wait. For their part, United has released a public apology and said they are redepositing the miles used to purchase the ticket back into the couple's account.

Those poor parents! Can you imagine how petrified they must have been to receive that phone call from the camp? I can't believe that the airline was so careless, especially given that the parents have to pay an additional charge for the service that aids unaccompanied minors to reach their destination safely. And to make matters worse, the employees in Chicago didn't even have the decency to help the lost young girl when she was obviously in need of assistance!

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I don't think I would EVER send my future children on a plane by themselves--partly because I'm paranoid and partly because hey, you can't trust anyone these days! Regardless, I'm just glad that Phoebe got home safe and I hope United and other airlines will learn from her family's story and be a little more attentive when it comes to their young passengers.

What would you have done if you were in the Klebahn's position? Tell us in the comments below!

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: latest news  child rearing  parents and children  traveling with kids