American Airlines rebooked a mother on a flight home that would have forced her to leave her 7- and 8-year-old sons for several days in NYC

A montage of Sarah Ripmaster and her two sons, next to an American Airlines plane.

Sarah Ripmaster and her two sons during their traveling adventure.Sarah Ripmaster/Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

  • Sarah Ripmaster woke up to an email saying her flight had changed but her sons weren’t included.

  • American Airlines did not add her 7- and 8-year-old boys to the new flight from LaGuardia Airport.

  • The airline wanted to put the boys on a Tuesday flight, but they would have been left alone in New York.

A mother of two boys aged seven and eight woke up on Saturday morning and thought she was going home.

But then an email from American Airlines changed everything.

Sarah Ripmaster was due to fly home from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Saturday, until she realized American had rebooked her, but not her children.

Ripmaster said the first thing she felt when she realized what had happened was fear.

“I woke up in New York City yesterday to a message that our flight to ORD had been canceled due to a crew shortage. I had a different mail locator than my boys, but they were linked in the system,” Ripmaster, who works for a social media technology platform, Insider told.

She said she was rebooked to travel later Saturday, but “the system had disconnected the boys’ reservation (from mine) and said the next flight they could get them on was Tuesday out of LGA.”

Ripmaster then spent hours on the phone with customer service trying to fix the frustrating situation. “When I reached someone, the American Airlines woman I spoke to was wonderful and helpful — but the process is broken,” she said.

Ripmaster's two sons.

Ripmaster’s two sons aged 8 and 7.Sarah Ripmaster

Ripmaster and her boys were finally rebooked to fly together through Nashville, where they were on Sunday when she discussed with Insider. She said they flew home to Chicago later that day, even though the flight was delayed.

Ripmaster said that she is an Executive Platinum member, which is why she was most surprised that she was not offered any kind of compensation. “I’m very frustrated, but mostly wondering what people who don’t have resources do in this situation.”

She said luckily she was able to get a hotel and meals. “We’re doing well, but what about so many others who don’t have these resources to come back?”

American Airlines did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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