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Mother sues airline for flying 5-year-old son to wrong city

NEW YORK » A woman has filed a lawsuit against JetBlue Airways for mixing up her 5-year-old son with another boy and flying him to the wrong city.

Maribel Martinez charged in the lawsuit that she suffered “great emotional distress, extreme fear, horror, mental shock, mental anguish and psychological trauma” when she went to meet her son’s Aug. 17 flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport and he wasn’t on it.

The little boy, Andy Martinez, had been mistakenly put on a flight to Boston’s Logan Airport instead of the flight to Kennedy.

According to the court papers, JetBlue staffers at Logan escorted Andy to a woman he had never seen before and told him he was being reunited with his mother. Meanwhile, a boy who was supposed to be on the flight to Boston had been put on Andy’s New York-bound flight and was presented to Martinez.

It took three hours for JetBlue to sort out what had happened and put the mother and son on the phone with each other, the lawsuit charges.

Both boys had flown out of Cibao International Airport in the Dominican Republic. The boy who was flown to New York instead of Boston has not been publicly identified.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. Martinez’s attorney, Sanford Rubenstein, said she also hopes to shine a light on JetBlue’s practices and prevent such a mix-up from happening again.

JetBlue Airways Corp., which is based in New York, doesn’t comment on pending litigation, a spokesman said.

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      • You’re right I don’t have a clue why children MUST fly solo. Yes I already know about the times parents get a divorce and one parent moves away but that’s not the airlines fault. The kid is still the responsibility of the parents. If people can’t take care of your own child maybe they shouldn’t have them in the first place.

        • Exactly. and when it comes to certain races, kids are nothing but a chore for the parents. Those parents could care less if their kids end up in gangs or crack-heads.

        • But they do care once an attorney tells them they can sue the airline for BIG BUCKS. Or they probably already knew that.

        • you two are forgetting one important detail. they were charged an unaccompanied minor fee. this fee covers the cost of providing personal supervision to the minor and ensuring their well-being during their trip and their save arrival. jetblue failed to do as promised and are therefore negligent. you can go ahead and argue if certain people should have kids or not but that’s irrelevant to this matter.

        • and there goes Dragon with his usual racist screed. Oh, and by the way, the phrase is “couldn’t care less” which you would know if you had finished high school.

    • You are right, this is a service not an obligation. Forget trying to make $100-$300 on a special service. The cost of a lawsuit will diminish any profit made. As for localguy, there is a reason for everything that happens in life. That doesn’t make it right or an obligation for society to provide a service. People make choices and they have to live with the consequences.

  • Like misdirected baggage it happens all the time, so she sues? What’s new, it happens all the time too! Sent 5 year-old son alone to LAX back in autumn of ’71 from O’Hare with no problem. Followed soon as we moved to California driving our auto 5 days.

  • Why do parents of young children care enough to make sure their children are safe. If the child is too young to understand what plane he is supposed to take. The parent should go with them, especially when they are flying from outside this country. This woman should be investigated for neglect.

      • JetBlue must make enough money transporting unaccompanied children to make it worth their while. If there was no business case for doing so they wouldn’t do it. JetBlue Bears all responsibility for seeing that the child is delivered to the right adult if they accept the child for transport on their airplane.

      • Hence my original comment. The airlines should just not provide this service anymore. Problem solved. Will it create a problem for the parents? Yes but who’s child is it? Not the airlines.

        • with that logic might as well stop baby sitting too. like uam’s, nothing happens with the vast majority but there’s that one incident where some kid gets abused. yeah lets outlaw baby sitting to solve that problem too.

  • If the child must fly by himself, a simple lanyard name tag with name, destination, and contact number would eliminate any confusion. You have to think worst case scenario.

  • Hello people: this lawsuit will pivot on the principle of “Duty of Care.” Did, in fact, JetBlue have a Duty of Care to ensure that the child arrived at the right place at the right time? If so, then they are most likely liable for damages.

  • If you’re familiar with the Dominican Republic, you would understand that filing lawsuits in U.S. Courts is considered a ticket to the good life, forever and ever. And, yes, I am intimately acquainted with people who have done it not once, but TWICE, and came out smiling each time after the suits were settled out of court for BS allegations. Leeches are everywhere. Disgusting.

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