Saturday, August 02, 2008

Not something you hear everyday. . .

We came home from a AAA baseball game (the Pawtucket Red Sox and they won, as did the Red Sox tonight--yay!) to hear this message on our home answering machine:

"Hello Ms. Cohen? This is (name redacted) from the FAA."


That's the Federal Aviation Administration.

Yes, *that* FAA.

You see, my 12 year old son almost got stranded in the Denver airport on his own recognizance Wednesday night. Old enough to fly on his own, (and not as a 'unaccompanied minor') he got stuck in policy limbo when his flight and the next one as well were canceled.

Adults on those canceled flights were put up in hotels. Unaccompanied minors would have been kept in a separate lounge with an airline employee. My son was old enough by the airline's standards to fly on his own, but considered too young to be housed in a hotel room. Since he wasn't an unaccompanied minor (UM), the airlines didn't consider that they had any responsibility to supervise him overnight and would have left him to his own devices.

When I freaked out, they did offer to change his status to "UM" (for their standard $100 fee) at which point they would hire someone to stay in the lounge with him until the next morning.

I was finally able to make contact with a friend in the Denver area who graciously agreed to pick my son up and take him back to the airport for a 6am flight Thursday morning, so he was spared having to sleep in the airport.

I have never in my life so dearly wanted a Star trek transporter to be a real technology.

The boy is home, safe and sound, considering his nearly 36 hour trip home to be part of the adventure.

As to what the FAA wants? I'll let you know when they call me back.


  1. How can something like this even happen? Doesn’t it logically follow that if there are two categories of travelers — unaccompanied minors and adults — and someone is too old to be an unaccompanied minor, then by default he’s an adult? Either treat him like one (although at 12, it’s unlikely that would be a good course of action), or for the sake of parental peace of mind, throw caution to the winds and declare the kid an unaccompanied minor for the night.

    I worry about the gene pool….

  2. well please don't forget to post what they wanted as i am dying to find out....