11-year-old kicked off Jetstar flight for not traveling with an adult

The mother of a young boy who was kicked off a Jetstar flight for not traveling with an adult said her son was “inconsolable” over the incident.

Jack Garland, 11, and his sister Scarlett were booked on a flight from Sydney to the Gold Coast over the October long weekend. The original booking included their father, but due to a sudden change in work commitments, he was no longer able to travel and was taken off the ticket.

As a result, Emma Garland confirmed with Qantas – with whom she had booked the Jetstar flight – that her children would still be able to travel despite no adult being with the couple. Garland was told by the airline that her children would indeed be able to complete the trip as planned, as her daughter was 13.

However, Garland claims that once the pair were on the run, her son was removed with no explanation to her daughter.

While on the flight, her son was promptly removed from the plane.
Garland was told by the airline that her children would indeed be able to complete the trip as planned, as her daughter was 13.
Getty Images

Appears on Channel 9’s Today showGarland said her son’s removal from the plane was “terrible” for the family.

“It was one of the most horrible days of our lives as a family,” she told hosts Karl Stefanovic and Alison Langdon, who described the incident as “parents’ worst nightmare.”

“Just the fact that Scarlett and Jack flew alone for the first time was stressful enough to then get the call from Jack that he had been taken off the flight and he didn’t really understand why – he was just beside himself.”

While Jack was taken from the flight, teenager Scarlett was unable to get off – meaning she arrived in the Gold Coast without her brother or any knowledge of where he was.

“Nobody had told Scarlett what was going on and by the time she got to the Gold Coast she was beside herself and didn’t know what had happened to her brother,” Garland said, noting that her son ” inconsolable” was on the phone.

The low-cost airline has apologized for the ordeal, with a spokesperson admitting staff on board the flight “should have handled the situation better”.

“We offer our sincerest apologies to Ms Garland and her family for the most distressing situation,” read the statement sent to news.com.au.

“While we enjoy welcoming young passengers on board our flights, Jetstar does not accommodate unaccompanied minors and young passengers must meet certain requirements to travel independently with us, including being of high school age.

The airline has apologized for the actions of its employees.
A spokesperson admitted that staff on board the flight “should have handled the situation better”.
Getty Images

“A high school passenger can travel independently, but must be at least 15 years old to accompany a child under high school age.”

The spokesperson said they will look into why Ms Garland was “not clearly informed about this before her son traveled” and how the airline can improve its processes to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

“We also apologize to Ms Garland for the delay she has experienced in obtaining a refund and we can confirm that refunds are being processed for her family’s entire booking,” the airline spokesperson added.

Mrs. Garland said she would rather have a genuine apology than anything else.

“I want to be reassured that one day this won’t happen to another family,” she explained.

The ordeal comes weeks after Stefanovic unleashed the airlines after claiming “rude” staff left his teenage daughter “completely intimidated” on a recent flight.

The Channel 9 personality revealed to his co-host Allison Langdon in October that on a recent flight from the Sunshine Coast, his 17-year-old daughter Ava was 500 grams over the hand luggage limit.

When she asked if she could put an item from her suitcase in her handbag, she was refused by staff in what Stefanovic says was a “rude” manner.

“So she [Ava Stefanovic] could she take something out and throw it away, but she couldn’t take it out and carry it? Langdon asked.

It is clear that Ms. Stefanovic was obliged to pay an excess for the 500 grams of extra luggage she had in her hand luggage.

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