Miami International Airport.
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- American Airlines lost a 12-year-old unaccompanied child after she arrived at Miami airport.
- The girl’s mother said she was told by AA an hour after the flight landed they couldn’t find her.
- Her mother paid $150 for an airport chaperone but the airline let her get off the plane alone.
A mother whose daughter was flying unaccompanied from Tennessee to Miami was told by American Airlines that she had gone missing after being allowed to leave the plane.
MailOnline and the New York Post reported that Monica Gilliam paid an extra $150 for a chaperone to escort her 12-year-old daughter through Miami airport but was told in a phone call an hour after her flight landed that the airline did not know where the girl was.
She was travelling to visit her father and flew unaccompanied last week from Chattanooga to Miami when she was allowed to disembark despite wearing a lanyard to indicate she was not with an adult.
The professional photographer said in a TikTok video that her daughter was waved off the plane by flight attendants and then kept walking.
“Not one AA employee stopped her to see if she had an adult [with her],” Gilliam said in the video. “Not one Miami airport employee stopped her and even the TSA agent when she left the secured area and went into baggage claim didn’t stop her either,” she added.
@relativelymonica The utter failure by @American Airlines ,#tsa and #mia ♬ original sound – relativelymonica
The girl managed to contact her father and he was able to guide her through the airport terminal and later found her, the mother said in her online video.
“The complete abandonment of a minor in their care, and the negligence displayed today is criminal,” Gilliam wrote in the video caption.
American Airlines said it “cares deeply” about its young passengers, took the incident “very seriously” and was looking into it.
“A member of our team has reached out to the customer to learn more about their experience,” a spokesperson said.
Earlier this week an American Airlines passenger was accused of stealing two credit cards and $10,000 in cash from fellow fliers on a flight from Buenos Aires to Miami, while another passenger spent three days trying to get home after his flight was canceled.
It comes amid summer chaos in the travel industry as thousands of flights are canceled and airlines struggle to cope with demand, with luggage piling up in some terminals.