JetBlue puts 5-year-old on wrong plane, sends him to Boston

JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) -- A mother from New York City said her 5-year-old son was put on the wrong flight by JetBlue when he was returning home alone from a family visit in the Dominican Republic.

Maribel Martinez said little Andy was supposed to be on a flight to Kennedy Airport on August 17 but ended up in Boston, and that JetBlue presented her with a different boy who they thought was her son when she came to pick him up at the airport.

"When I went to pick up my son, my son wasn't there," she said. "I was given another boy. 'Is this your son?' No, this is not my son."

Somehow, the wrong little boy had her son's passport and luggage.

She said she quickly became anxious and afraid, worried about where her son had ended up. It took more than three hours to locate him in Boston.

"A half hour later, I was waiting, I was told he was going to be sent to me 20 minutes before 11," she said. "Then I am told, no, the flight was delayed, that he is going to arrive at 20 before 1. The only thing I said is 'I want my son...I am not going to leave without him.'"

Andy finally arrived, much to the relief of his mother.

"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," JetBlue said in a statement. "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 realize this situation was distressing for their families."

So how did the passports get switched? That's the question that remains unanswered, and there is still no word. But Martinez's lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, said before there's even a lawsuit, they need answers.

"Right now, the issue is not a lawsuit," he said. "It's very important to note this hadn't happened to anyone else."

Martinez had paid an extra $100 fee for a JetBlue representative to escort Andy onto the plane, and JetBlue has since refunded her $475 for the flight and also gave the family $2,100 in credit for future flights. Still, Martinez said she would never let her son fly alone again.
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