Continental Airlines: Work Hard, Fly Right -- Unless You're A Kid

For the second time in a week, Houston's Continental Airlines has admitted they sent an unaccompanied minor passenger to the wrong destination.

One 10-year-old girl who was trying to get from Boston to Cleveland ended up in Newark. (The only time ending up in Newark is "not so bad" is when you were intending to go to Cleveland.) A, 8-year-old girl trying to get to Charlotte from Houston ended up in Fayetteville. Not Fayetteville, North Carolina -- which would have been close, at least -- but Fayetteville, Arkansas.

A spokesperson for the airlines said in a prepared statement that "Continental has clear procedures to assist children traveling alone, and we take the responsibility very seriously. We have also taken immediate action to reinforce to airport representatives that they must closely adhere to established procedures."

Good to know. As always, we are here to help.

1. How to identify children.
a) They are usually smaller than the typical passenger.
b) They are usually playing a GameBoy or employing some other type of electronic device.
c) They are wearing a freakishly large tag that identifies them as an unaccompanied minor.

2. What you should NOT do when discovering an "unaccompanied minor."

a) Tell him/her "Enjoy your trip to your stepdad's, but remember -- Mommy and Daddy divorced because of you."
b) Play "Destination Roulette" with your fellow boarding agents.
c) Say "Just pick a plane, kid -- I'm busy."

3. What you SHOULD do when discovering an "unaccompanied minor."
a) Determine which airport he/she is supposed to be flying to.
b) Find the plane that is flying there.
c) Put the kid on that plane.

Any questions, please read Airline Operations for Dummies.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly