"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.