Sunday, August 15, 2010

Three 'Bored' Kids Hop Flight To Nashville, Alone

Portions of a story about parental cluelessness from CBC and the Associated Press:
Bored on a hot summer day, three Florida youngsters were just sitting around when one sent a text message to another with an adventurous idea.
"Hey do you want to go 2 Tennessee today," the message read.
"Sure," the other responded.
Not even old enough to get a driver's license, they took a taxi to the airport Tuesday, bought tickets with babysitting money and — unbeknownst to their parents, the three (ages 15, 13 and 11) — boarded a Southwest Airlines flight from Jacksonville to Nashville, according to a TV news account of the incident.
Nobody asked a question. Nobody asked for identification.
Not the taxi driver. Not the ticket counter. Not security officials or flight attendants or other passengers. So when they landed in Nashville with just $40 left and their destination, Dollywood, still hundreds of miles away, they finally called home.
The jig was up.
"I just wanted to fly," 15-year-old Bridget Brown, told WJXX-TV in Jacksonville. "I had the money."
Now their parents are wondering how the trip was possible.
Southwest Airlines said in a statement that the company's policy on minors is similar to other carriers in that it covers children ages 5 through 11 travelling alone, and that the 11-year-old in this case was accompanied by two older companions. The Transportation Security Administration does not require anyone under age 18 to show identification, but all bags are still screened.
It is still unclear if any of the three should have been allowed to purchase tickets. A Southwest spokesman did not immediately return a message seeking comment on that issue.
Messages left by The Associated Press on Friday at the families' homes were not immediately returned. . . .
The three youngsters certainly had no problem hopping a flight.
Brown, with the $700 she had saved, took her 11-year-old brother Kodie and 13-year-old friend Bobby Nolan III to the airport in the early afternoon. She said she purchased the three tickets at the Southwest Airlines counter without any problems from the clerk.
"He said OK and told us how much it would be and then we paid him," Brown said. "Then he put the flight things on our bags, and then he said, 'You better run because you might miss your flight.'"
For the full story see CBC.

No comments: