Mom outraged at United Airlines after they put her 14-year-old son on a flight to the wrong country
United Airlines has come under fire for placing a teenage boy on a flight to the wrong destination, leaving his parents deeply concerned for his welfare, WRAL reports.
Anton Berg, 14, from North Carolina, was supposed to be headed to Sweden to visit his grandparents, but instead, staff at Newark Airport in New Jersey helped the boy board a one-way flight to Dusseldorf, Germany.
Employees were told to escort Berg to his flight due to his being an 'unaccompanied minor' - a service that cost his parents $150.
Moments after boarding the Scandinavian airlines flight, he realized a grave error had been made. Just before the plane took off, Berg contacted his parents, who were back home in Raleigh, N.C.
Per WRAL, the boy's father, Christer Berg, explained: "He texted me, because he still was on his phone, 'There are a lot of people speaking German on this flight. That's kind of odd, isn't it?' I said, 'That is kind of odd,'"
"We had no way to reach the airline. We were sitting there with a child on the runway about to fly to Germany – the wrong country – and we had no way to reach them," Brenda Berg, the boy's mother, added. "We realized they had no idea where our son was, so I was [in] absolute panic."
Mr and Mrs Berg told their son to inform a flight attendant, who managed to get the pilot to return to the terminal.
Unfortunately, Berg was not able to make it on the flight he was originally supposed to board so the airline booked him on another flight to Sweden.
Berg finally arrived in Sweden on Monday and is currently at his grandparents' house.
"The safety and well-being of all of our customers is our top priority, and we have been in frequent contact with the young man’s family to confirm his safety and to apologize for this issue," United Airlines said in a statement. "Once [United partner airline] Eurowings recognized that he had boarded the wrong aircraft in Newark, the plane returned to the gate before taking off. Our staff then assisted the young customer to ensure that he boarded the correct rebooked flight later that evening. We have confirmed that this young customer safely reached his destination."
The airline has since refunded the unaccompanied minor fee of $150, People reports.