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JetBlue Mixed Up Two 5-Year-Olds And Sent Them To The Wrong Cities

JetBlue mixed up two 5-year-olds and sent them to the wrong cities on August 17, leaving one panic-stricken mother waiting three hours while the airline located her son.

Andy Martinez Mercado, 5, was traveling alone from a family visit in the Dominican Republic to his home in New York after his mother had returned from the trip about two weeks prior. Instead, he wound up in Boston, over 200 miles away, his mother, Maribel Martinez, told the New York Daily News.

“I thought he was kidnapped,” she said. “I thought I would never see him again.”

JetBlue employees brought Martinez a different 5-year-old boy, who they thought was her son — and she said he was carrying her son’s passport. 

“No, this is not my child,” Martinez said she told the employees. The boy was supposed to be on a flight to Boston, but was put on the flight to New York by mistake. 

Three hours later, JetBlue figured out that Andy was in Boston and placed him on the next flight to New York.

“I was freaking out. I didn’t know if he was alive,” she said. “I still haven’t stopped crying.”

JetBlue confirmed the incident to BuzzFeed News in a statement, and said they “immediately took steps to assist the children in reaching their correct destinations” once they learned of the mistake.

They have refunded the flights, offered the families JetBlue credit for future flights, and are reviewing the incident to prevent similar ones in the future.

“While the children were always under the care and supervision of JetBlue crew members, we realize this situation was distressing for their families,” they said.

According to JetBlue’s website, “photo identification is required for both parties who drop off and pick up an unaccompanied minor” and “unaccompanied minors will not be accepted without the guardian’s photo ID.”

They also require a parent or guardian’s phone number and address to be included with the minor’s reservation.

Martinez said she will never use JetBlue again, and is now considering legal action against the airline for negligence.

“Any parent can understand the terrifying fear a mother goes through knowing that her child is missing,” Martinez’s lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, told the Daily News

“This never should have happened and the JetBlue employees should be ashamed of themselves.”

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Comment by Arlette Belgrave on September 11, 2016 at 9:39am
@ Cee Cee. My thoughts exactly, who allows their 5yr old child to travel alone. R u kidding me!!!
Comment by Cee Gee on September 7, 2016 at 9:46am

Honestly speaking......who lets a five year old fly alone?

Comment by Roxanne on September 6, 2016 at 10:58am

A five year old child is still a baby..... that is ridiculous. My nephew is 6' .1", 14 years and I was worried about him flying alone.   

Comment by Yogi on September 4, 2016 at 8:20am
Ab Gai...A license doesn't mean anything. Like I said before their are a lot of criminals, pedophiles etc..who has never been arrested,which means they can get a license too. The parents/guardians were just as negligence as the airline for letting their 5 year olds fly alone.with a stranger just because they work at an airline. Jet Blue and all the other airlines need to change there laws/rules one flying age groups. The agent could have been a pedophile playing with her child through the whole flight. Not saying they were but, if your child is not only their way to middle school,they shouldn't fly without a parent or guardian who knows them. Those babies can't use bathrooms without someone lifting them off the nasty public bathroom seat. So the strange ticket agent have to go inside with them. Hell no!! At least if the kid were flying with an older relative, 10 and up, the older child would have known to call someone,and tell someone they were at the wrong stop.
Comment by Ab Gai on September 4, 2016 at 6:16am
This is why I would like for people to have to apply for a license if they want to or if they are in the process of having a kid.
Comment by Cat on September 3, 2016 at 11:39pm
My 13 year old flew alone for an hour for the first time and I was concerned for her well being. At five no one could ever have convinced me to allow her to fly alone in the care of flight attendants. That child should have returned with the parent when she returned home.
Comment by Yogi on September 1, 2016 at 3:48pm
People are so quick to blame someone when they also screwed up ... Just because it is allowed for children under a certain age to travel alone on airplanes, it doesn't mean to do it. Why would you send your 5 year old, back and forth on a airplane alone with all these killers, pedophiles, children trafficking, kidnapped/missing children, and hijacking in the world today. That shouldn't even be allowed unless the child is a least about 10 years old, and understand what's going on around them in case things don't look right. Ok, there's someone watching him... What do you know about that person that would make you feel comfortable for your 5 year old travel alone. Apparently that person wasn't the dependable, because your child was at the wrong destination. There's a lot of criminals out here who has never been caught, doesn't have records at all. Parents need to think...This was a real stupid move. Now she want to sue..She shouldn't get anything just for being that stupid. Can he even spell Massachusetts to know that's where he was. All airlines coming and going need to change that rule to 10 and over. If she east to sue anyone, it should be the person she paid to monitor him.
Comment by Lu on September 1, 2016 at 3:26pm

Exactly..why take that risk? I know in certain financial situations, helpful accommodations is necessary---But do the airlines need to tell you to provide emergency contact information, in case of any emergencies?

Parenting skills is an innate ability, not everyone should be a parent...Amen

Comment by Kyra-Lee Marie Wilson on September 1, 2016 at 3:06pm
Seriously Why Would You Let Your Child Fly
On A Plane By Themself Anything Could Have
Happen Besides Get Sent To Another City What
Happens If The Plane Crashed Or The Child Was
Kidnapped Or Worst They Could Have Been Raped
& Muder On The Plane You Never Know What Happens
To Them When They Are Flying On A Plane Alone There Is
No Way In Hell Would I Let My Child Fly On Their Own I Don't
Care How Safe It Is That Is Just So Wrong & How Did Two Little
5 Years Old Boys End Up In Different Cities In The First Place
If The Cabin Crew Was Suppoesed To Be Taking Care Of Them
& Watching Them.

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