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Florida mom alleges American Airlines ‘misplaced’ kids in jail-like room for night


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A Florida mom has accused American Airlines of losing her two young kids when they were traveling alone and their flight to upstate New York was canceled — claiming in a lawsuit that they were left in a jail-like holding room overnight without food or water.

Amber Vencill alleges in a civil lawsuit that her 10- and 12-year-old sons – referred to in court papers only as RV and JV — were left without food, water, blankets or pillows on July 30, 2022, while they used the airline’s unaccompanied minor service.

The boys had been scheduled to fly from Missouri to upstate New York, where Vencill’s partner planned to pick them up after a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to the lawsuit filed Oct. 31 and obtained by The Post.

But the flight was delayed and later canceled, forcing the company to call the mom’s partner, identified as Ted, and tell him the children would be placed in a “nice room for unaccompanied minors where there were beds and their own bathroom,” the suit states.

“Ted was also provided with a telephone number that was supposed to be a direct line to where the children would be,” according to the document.

American Airlines emailed Vencill at 11:40 p.m. July 30, 2022, telling her that her sons were scheduled to fly at 5 p.m. the next day – but “conflicting information” left her with no idea about what flight they’d be on.

A phone number the carrier gave her was no use and she spent hours unable to get in touch with her boys until an employee at Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport connected her to one of the kids, the suit states.

The child informed his mom “that they had not had anything to eat or drink since the night before, not even a pretzel or snacks that are usually given out by the airline,” according to the filing.

“The room was freezing, and the children spent the night on a sofa with the lights on. Apparently, the children had been placed in a lost children’s room,” it continues.

The employee, a woman who is not employed by American Airlines, finally gave the children food and drinks before they boarded a flight to Syracuse, where they were picked up by Ted, according to the suit.

Vencill claims the airline failed to provide the children “with any blankets, pillows or accommodations for an overnight stay” and to advise her that they “would be confined to a fully lit room overnight without a bed, food or water.”

The employee, a woman who is not employed by American Airlines, finally gave the children food and drinks before they boarded a flight to Syracuse, where they were picked up by Ted, according to the suit.

The room was described as “akin to a jail cell.”

“The worst part was they were in an airport, they could have been taken anywhere,” David Jaroslawicz, Vencill’s attorney, told Insider. “They were in an airport with all sorts of nuts around.”

When Vencill contacted the airline, a customer relations rep apologized and refunded her the $150 fee for the airline’s unaccompanied minor service, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit alleges that the carrier was “reckless, careless, and negligent” and broke its policies and procedures when it “misplaced” the children.

On its website, American Airlines says “We want your child to have a safe and positive trip” in its description of the unaccompanied minor service for children ages 5 to 14 flying by themselves.

But the lawsuit said what was “particularly offensive is that after learning of their clear failures, defendant merely offered a hollow apology and a refund, in essence telling plaintiff, sorry we lost your kids lady but here is your money back.”

It also claims the company did not conduct an investigation into how the incident occurred and how to avoid a similar one in the future.

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