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US airliner puts 5-year-old on wrong plane, lands in Boston

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New York: Mother of a 5-year-old boy in New York has said her son was put on a wrong flight by JetBlue when he was travelling alone from the Dominican Republic and that she was presented with a wrong child by the US airliner.

Maribel Martinez said her son was supposed to be on a flight to JFK Airport here on August 17 after a family holiday, but ended up in Boston, a media report said today.

JetBlue presented her with a different 5-year-old boy who they thought was her son when Martinez came to pick him up at the airport. It took more than three hours to locate him in Boston, ABC television network reported.


The mistake happened because the boy who was flown to JFK was carrying her son’s passport. That boy was supposed to be on the flight to Boston, and he was safely returned there after he was questioned by Port Authority police.

A JetBlue spokeswoman yesterday said in a statement, “Two unaccompanied children of the same age traveling separately from Santiago, Dominican Republic, one to New York JFK and one to Boston – each boarded a flight to the incorrect destination.

“Upon learning of the error, our teams in JFK and Boston immediately took steps to assist the children in reaching their correct destinations. While the children were always under the care and supervision of JetBlue crew members, we realise this situation was distressing for their families,” the statement said.

Martinez has retained a lawyer to take legal action against JetBlue, claiming negligence and emotional distress, the report said.

JetBlue has since refunded her USD 475 for the flight and also gave the family USD 2,100 in credit for future flights, it added.