A Brisbane mother says she was distraught when her little boy was stuck at a Melbourne after his flight to Sydney was delayed.
Nine-year-old John, who is used to flying alone, was stuck at Melbourne airport alongside hundreds of other passengers due to bad weather on Thursday night.
To his mother Kate Meredith’s distress, airline staff didn’t tell his grandmother, who was waiting to pick him up at the other end, where he was staying.
“It was at that point the staff member said that she would call in the morning and my mother said, ‘no please tell me what hotel you’re going to’,” his mother, Katie Meredith said.
It turns out John was staying in a meeting room off the Virgin Lounge, where staff made a makeshift bedroom from boxes.
“The scariest thing for me is not how my child was treated, it was ‘where is my child?’,” Ms Meredith said.
A Virgin Australia spokesperson confirmed a weather disruption on Thursday night caused flights to be diverted of delayed. However they claim due to the Grand Prix there was no accommodation available at late notice.
“We take the utmost care when transporting unaccompanied minors and aim to ensure their nominated guardians are aware of any developments as they arise. In this instance, our ground crew supervised the child and made him as comfortable as possible in a room in our Melbourne Airport Lounge ahead of his flight the following morning. We apologise for any breakdown in communication between our team and the child’s guardian during the course of the evening.”
“Our team communicated regularly with the child’s nominated guardian during the evening: after he landed In Melbourne, when seeking permission to serve him McDonalds for dinner, when he was booked on a new flight, and prior to his departure in the morning. Regrettably, a text message from the child’s nominated guardian during the evening wasn’t responded to by our team.”