Codeshare Rules Leave Girl Stranded, Airline Apologizes
Codeshares are ever-more popular and they sound wonderful, but they have to work for passengers, many of whom are unaware of which airline they are actually flying. When an airline’s own employees don’t understand how unaccompanied minor rules apply to a codeshare, how is a passenger supposed to figure it all out?
Hawaiian Airlines has apologized to an Oahu couple more than a month after their 11-year-old daughter was barred from boarding a flight back home to Honolulu.
Shelby Jordan’s parents had arranged for her to fly home on July 9 from Dallas as an unaccompanied minor on a Virgin America flight to Los Angeles and then on a Hawaiian Airlines connecting flight to Honolulu.
Eric and Dana Jordan paid Virgin and Hawaiian each an extra $100 because their daughter was flying alone.
But when Shelby and an escort from Virgin America got to the Hawaiian counter in Los Angeles, they were told she could not board the plane, Hawaii News Now reported on Monday.The Virgin America escort took Shelby back to the plane she arrived on and sent her back to Dallas.
Eric Jordan got an urgent call from Virgin America, telling him Shelby hadn’t been allowed on the Hawaiian plane. He called Hawaiian to try to sort things out but was put on hold for 40 minutes.
No one from Hawaiian called the Jordans to say Shelby hadn’t been allowed on the plane, Dana Jordan said.
“That’s an 11-year-old child just left out. Nowhere to go, really. She’s put on a plane to go back to somewhere where nobody was there to pick her up,” Eric Jordan said.
Her parents arranged for a close family friend in Dallas to leave work early and meet Shelby. Virgin America put them up at a Dallas airport hotel for the night, the Jordans said.
The next day, they said, Virgin paid for Shelby and her parent’s friend to fly to Los Angeles, where the girl boarded a Hawaiian flight for Honolulu.
A Hawaiian Airlines spokeswoman says the airline mistakenly sold an unaccompanied minor ticket to Shelby Jordan. She says Hawaiian’s policy is to not accept reservations for children traveling alone on “code share” flights.
“When two airlines are involved and there is a delay of any kind, it gets difficult to sort out which airline is responsible for the supervision of the child,” said Hawaiian’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications Ann Botticelli.
“We accept responsibility for the error and will definitely work with our staff to ensure the policy is clearly understood,” Botticelli added.
On Friday, shortly after Hawaii News Now asked Hawaiian about the Jordan family’s ordeal, Hawaiian sent Eric Jordan an email that said: “We apologize for the inconvenience you and your family experienced due to our agent’s error and for the long hold times while contacting our call center.”
Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/
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