A New York mother’s worst nightmare came true as she waited for her 5-year-old son at JFK Airport, but he never got off his expected flight.
Maribel Martinez’s son Andy was put on the wrong JetBlue flight on his way home to New York from the Dominican Republic, Martinez’s lawyer Sanford Rubenstein said.
Martinez says she nearly lost her mind because it took three hours to locate her son’s whereabouts, the New York Daily News reports.
“I thought he was kidnapped,” Martinez, 38, told The Daily News. “I thought I would never see him again.”
JetBlue employees presented her with a young boy the company thought was her son. To her horror, the boy was holding Andy’s passport. Then another troubling discovery: Andy had been flown to Boston.
JetBlue’s explanation? It was an honest mix-up.
ABC News writes:
“JetBlue’s manager of corporate communications, Tamara Young, said in a statement to ABC News today that at the same time that Martinez’s child was scheduled to travel, another unaccompanied child of the same age was set to fly from the Dominican Republic airport to Boston.
Each child “boarded a flight to the incorrect destination,” Young said. “Upon learning of the error, our teams in JFK and Boston immediately took steps to assist the children in reaching their correct destinations.”
Andy did finally make his way to his mother; the airline put him on the next outbound flight headed to JFK and the other young boy was safely re-routed to Boston. Martinez and her lawyer are seeking legal action, according to ABC.
JetBlue said they refunded Martinez $475 and granted the family a $2,100 credit for future flights.
It’s an important gesture, but not much can replace the feeling a mother has when she learns her child is missing.