Continental Airlines said it has taken steps to ensure that proper procedures are followed after two unaccompanied girls were placed on wrong Continental Express flights over the weekend.
An 8-year-old College Station girl erroneously ended up in Fayetteville, Ark., and a 10-year-old Massachusetts girl was mistakenly sent to Newark, N.J., after boarding planes operated by ExpressJet, which is under contract with Continental.
Houston-based Continental said in a statement Tuesday that the mix-up was a "miscommunication among staff."
"I have never seen so much incompetence in all my life," Wendy Babineaux told the Houston Chronicle. Her daughter was headed to Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday to see her father. She was sent to Fayetteville, back to Houston and then to Charlotte.
Babineaux's attorney, Wayne T. Rife, told The Associated Press Tuesday night that his client became worried when the girl's father called to find out where their child was. He said his client is concerned about how Continental Airlines handled the situation.
"It was just a complete breakdown in the procedures that were supposed to be implemented," Rife said. "And, in Mrs. Babineaux's perspective, Continental, to this point, has not taken it seriously."
On Sunday, Jonathan Kamens said he put his daughter, Miriam, on a Cleveland-bound flight at Logan Airport in Boston to visit her grandparents. He told WBZ-TV that shortly after the plane landed in Ohio, his father-in-law called saying she had not arrived.
Kamens said for 45 minutes no one could tell him where his daughter was. She was finally located unharmed in Newark.
Kamens said the number of people who failed to do their jobs is "mindboggling."
Continental spokeswoman Kelly Cripe said in an e-mailed statement that in both instances flights with different destinations were being loaded at the same time from the same doorway and there was miscommunication among staff members.
"In both circumstances the children were supervised throughout the entire process and were rebooked and routed to the proper destinations on the same day," Cripe said in the statement.
Kamens said on his blog that the airline offered him a $75 refund.