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12-year-old boy removed from Virgin Atlantic flight due to overbooking of unaccompanied minors

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2017-07-20 16:30People's Daily Online Editor: Li Yahui ECNS App Download
(file photo)

(file photo)

A twelve-year-old boy was forcibly removed by crew members from a Virgin Atlantic flight at the Shanghai Pudong Airport on July 9 after he had already checked in and sat on his assigned seat.

The boy was to attend a summer camp in the United Kingdom with a classmate. "Since the two kids will be traveling without any adults, we checked repeatedly with Virgin Atlantic to make sure that the crew members can take care of them on flight VS251 from Shanghai to London on July 9," the boy's mother, Mrs. Liu, told Beijing Youth Daily.

(Beijing Youth Daily photo)
(Beijing Youth Daily photo)

Mrs. Liu left the airport after her son checked in; however, hours later she was informed that her son didn't make the flight. She then hurried back to the airport, finding her son still confused about what had happened. "Did I do something wrong? Why did they kick me off the plane?" the boy asked his parents.

"When I picked him up, I was told that my son was the ninth checked-in unaccompanied minor but they can only accept eight at max. Moreover, an airport staff promised us a round-trip ticket for any Virgin Atlantic flight or a 400 gift card as compensation, but nobody has apologized or called about regarding compensation since then," said Mrs. Liu.

On July 18, the Shanghai office of Virgin Atlantic made an apology to the boy and his family on Weibo. "Based on relevant regulations, a maximum of eight unaccompanied minors can be taken care of on one flight. We should have informed the child and his family before boarding. Corresponding compensation shall be made, and the check-in process of flight VS251 will be looked at," said Virgin Atlantic's statement.

  

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