Ask Dave and Luke [Andrew]: Should you let your kids fly alone?August 17, 2012 @ 1:08 pm (Updated: 1:11 pm - 8/17/12 )
Do you think parents should let kids fly alone? (AP)
A couple alleged this week that their 10-year-old daughter flying to summer camp was stranded at one of the world's busiest airports after United Airlines failed to keep track of her.
Phoebe Klebahn was flying as an "unaccompanied minor" from San Francisco to Traverse City, Mich. with a connection in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. The girl's parents, Annie and Perry Klebahn, had paid United an extra $99 to assist her during the June 30 trip.
When the first flight landed in Chicago, the company United hired apparently failed to show up.
The parents claim in a letter sent to the airline that their daughter asked for help, including the use of a cell phone, but was repeatedly told to wait by flight attendants. And it appears no one from the airline called the camp after the girl missed her connecting flight.
"She was sad and scared and no one helped," the parents wrote. They shared the letter with media though a family friend who is a business management professor.
In a statement, the airline said it reached out to the Klebahns to apologize and is reviewing the situation. United has refunded the $99 fee and returned the frequent flier miles the family used for the flight.
Producer Andrew, filling in for Luke, was suprised by how comfortable some parents seem to be with letting kids fly alone.
"I could not believe how many people do it," says Andrew.
Hundreds of thousands of kids fly on their own each year about 160,000 on Delta alone says the AP.
Dave, himself a parent says eh, it's probably fine.
"Here's the thing, the first one is really cute, you take a lot of pictures. Second one, almost no pictures. You've been through it, you're immune to the cuteness at this point. You stick them on a plane and send them to grandma."
Listeners shared their kids flying alone stories in the Magic Messages:
Judy in Sammamish writes:
My niece used to fly back and forth between Minneapolis and Seattle several times a year from the time she was about 8 years old to visit her father (my brother). One flight they did not have someone to accompany her but they found a perfect candidate who worked out pretty well. It was Billy Graham flying from the Midwest to Seattle to visit one of his children. We always thought she was in good hands and he was great.
Dorothy in Dupont writes:
I won't let my grandsons fly alone - though I'd love to see them because I've been on too many flights where the attendant brought me a little kid to "keep and eye on" during the flight. These people don't know anything about me. I'm sure I just look lovable and responsible, but I don't care to look after these little kids all the way to Minneapolis. And they don't know anything about me at all. I won't trust my boys to such uncertainty.
Mac in Seattle writes:
Regarding the topic of kids flying alone: You're giving the "typical" parents way too much credit for common sense. Most airline passengers seem clueless as they constantly yak into their phones. Flying in 2012 is like taking a bus in Mexico.
Listen to Dave and Andrew's Magic Message responses:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.