Just hours after dropping her young daughter off for an unaccompanied flight, an unexpected call from the airline threw a Georgia mom into every parent’s worst nightmare.
The ordeal began last Saturday, after Monica Gilliam dropped her 12-year-old daughter Kimber off at Tennessee’s Chattanooga Airport for a flight to Miami. Since her daughter was traveling alone, an extra fee guaranteed the young girl would have an escort until she met her father once landing at her destination.
Unfortunately, all the program delivered was more danger for Kimber.
According to WTVC, a representative from American Airlines told Gilliam that her daughter would safely reach Florida.
This much, it seems, was true.
Shortly after Kimber’s plane landed, however, things took a frightening turn.
A Miami manager called Gilliam and admitted the situation: American Airlines had no idea where her daughter was.
“It turns out that the flight attendants waved her off the plane and said ‘bye,'” Gilliam explained, “and she said she didn’t know what to do so she kept going, because they were telling her ‘bye.'”
To make matters worse, Kimber was wearing a sign with her name, information and status as an unaccompanied minor.
In a city identified as one of the nation’s largest trafficking hubs, the potential danger from this situation is clear. The terminal was immediately shut down once the missing child was noticed, but it was too late.
The young girl began to wander around the airport.
According to Gilliam, her daughter passed American Airlines employees, airport workers and even a TSA agent unchallenged. She was eventually able to make it out of the airport’s secured area and into the baggage claim, a public area.
Even there, the unaccompanied minor was allowed to walk free.
Fortunately, she was on the phone with her dad, who was trying to talk her through the airport signs. She eventually made it to him safely.
The terrifying ordeal has left Kimber unwilling to fly again.
In a now-viral TikTok video, Gilliam explains the horrifying situation.
@relativelymonica The utter failure by @American Airlines ,#tsa and #mia ♬ original sound – relativelymonica
American Airlines has opened an investigation into the matter and has offered the family free flights and limo service.
“American cares deeply about our young passengers and is committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for them,” the airline told WTVC. “We take these matters very seriously and are looking into what occurred. A member of our team has reached out to the customer to learn more about their experience.”
Gilliam is now warning other parents about the potential dangers awaiting any unaccompanied minor.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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