New York

JetBlue Sends Wrong Kid to Mom Waiting in New York

"I thought he was kidnapped," the mother said of her 5-year-old son

What to Know

  • The NYC mother paid extra to have her son escorted onto the JetBlue plane, but he was put on the wrong flight
  • Her child was sent more than 200 miles away to Boston, while another child was sent to her
  • JetBlue says it is investigating the mix-up and working with its team in Santiago to ensure something similar never happens again

A woman in New York says she hasn't stopped crying since an airline mistook her 5-year-old for another child and flew him to the wrong city. 

Maribel Martinez told NBC 4 New York she was shocked when JetBlue staffers presented her with another little boy on Aug. 17 at Kennedy Airport. 

"When I went to pick up my son, my son wasn't there," the 38-year-old mother said in spanish. "I was given another boy." 

Her lawyer says that child was supposed to be in Boston. Instead, Martinez's son, Andy, was sent there. 

Both unaccompanied children had boarded in the Dominican Republic. The other child was carrying Andy's passport. 

Martinez had flown with her son to the Dominican Republic July 28 and came back after a week, leaving the boy with family. She bought him a ticket to return in the middle of August, and paid extra for a JetBlue employee to get the boy safely onto the plane. 

The child was safely put on a plane -- it just wasn't the right one. 

"It's a mother's worst nightmare that her 5-year-old child is missing," Martinez's lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, said. "It never should have happened."

JetBlue is reviewing how the mix-up occurred. It says once it realized the mistake, it quickly got the children to their correct destinations. 

"While the children were always under the care and supervision of JetBlue crewmembers, we realize this situation was distressing for the families," the airline said in a statement. "In addition to extending our apologies, we refunded the flights and offered the families credit towards future JetBlue flights. We are also reviewing the incident with our leadership and Santiago airport team to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future."

JetBlue gave Martinez $2,100 in credit for future flights and a $475 refund, the News said. But the mother says she has no plans to ever use the airline again. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us