After spending a week at a summer camp for children with neurofibromatosis, it was time for 8-year-old Hudson Hoyt to fly from Charlottesville back his home in Beaverton, Oregon.
According to The Washington Post, Hoyt had an experience of a lifetime at the summer camp. However, his flight home was less than ideal.
As his mom, Kristie Hoyt revealed on Facebook on August 9, the American Airlines flight that was bringing Hoyt back home reportedly left him and eight other camp goers stranded.
American Airlines how are you ok with leaving 9 unaccompanied children all with medical needs on a plane for over 5…
American Airlines how are you ok with leaving 9 unaccompanied children all with medical needs on a plane for over 5 hours and not giving their parents updates? Or allowing the kids access to electricity to charge their phones to talk to their parents? How are you ok having the paid ($300 per child) additional fee flight attendant walk off because her time was done and not replacing someone else assigned to the kids? You are disgraceful! And harming these children!
According to Kristie, on their way to Oregon, the children had a layover in Charlotte. But because that first plane arrived in Charlotte late, the kids weren’t given the time to stop for food.
However, once they were on the second plane, a series of issues like “fuel spilled on the tarmac” and the pilot and co-pilot having worked too many hours, resulted in the flight being delayed more than 13 hours.
Kristie claims the parents of the children were initially left in the dark when it came to why their children’s flight was delayed, which is against company policy. It was only after a 12-year-old in the group called her and put a flight attendant on the phone that she was finally given some information.
Hoyt, who has dealt with anxiety and abandonment issues since his adoption, told The Washington Post that he “felt scared” when he felt the plane stop:
“When the plane stopped moving, I was afraid I was never going to see my mom again.”
Eventually, the children were taken to a room to sleep, but the room they were put in allegedly didn’t have enough furniture or beds, so some of the group had to sleep on the floor. Kristie says the children also weren’t provided any food, which is an issue for many of the kids who are required to eat full meals with their medications.
As The Washington Post reports, American Airlines has since issued an apology to the children and their families:
“Our team is in the process of reaching out to the families involved and sincerely apologizes for this travel experience. We will be reviewing with our teams internally to understand how we can do better next time.”
Kristie said the ordeal has now left her son with a fear of flying, which they are hoping to overcome.