A parent is blaming “the idiots” at United Airlines for putting his 14-year-old son on the wrong international flight, which would have taken him to Germany, instead of his intended destination, Sweden.
The young boy, Anton Berg, flew as an “unaccompanied minor” on June 30 with United Airlines from Raleigh, Durham, N.C. to Newark, N.J. From there, his connecting flight was supposed to take him directly to his destination, Stockholm, with Scandinavian Airlines, but he got on a flight to Dusseldorf, operated by Eurowings, instead.
The boy was under the supervision of United Airlines staff and got on the wrong plane, which was boarding next to his actual flight.
A representative from Eurowings tells Yahoo Lifestyle that, “The passenger was in the care of a United Airlines employee who brought him to the gate.” The airline added that boarding for both flights “took place simultaneously at neighboring gates,” and was “handled by an external service provider who was in charge [of] both SAS and Eurowings.”
The 14-year-old’s father, Anton Berg posted on Facebook on Sunday to describe the incident, and wrote that United Airlines, to which they paid $150 to guide their son, “brought him to the wrong gate/airline/flight.”
The dad added that the airline only realized the issue when the teenager alerted flight attendants, after which they “had to abort the takeoff procedure.”
Eurowings confirmed this and told Yahoo Lifestyle that once they knew, they returned to the gate and the plane did not take off.
A representative tells Yahoo Lifestyle: “Only in the plane it turned out that he was on the wrong flight. The Eurowings crew reacted immediately and informed the captain, who decided to roll back to the gate.” They added that “Anton Berg was then handed over to Port Authority and TSA staff.”
United Airlines has since refunded the $150 fee charged for directing the unaccompanied minor. In a statement provided to Yahoo Lifestyle, a representative said that the airline has “been in frequent contact with the young man’s family to confirm his safety and to apologize for this issue.”
United Airlines added that their staff “assisted the young customer to ensure that he boarded the correct rebooked flight later that evening.”
The rebooked flight, which brought Anton safely to his destination departed Newark at 11:30 p.m. the same day, connected through Copenhagen, Denmark, and then arrived in Stockholm.
Christer Berg did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.