A furious mom is blaming American Airlines after her 12-year-old daughter went missing from a solo trip despite paying $150 for an attendant to see her through Miami airport
- Monica Gilliam, 39, from Georgia, took to TikTok about American Airlines losing track of her teenage daughter
- Attentive mom arranged for baby to be escorted through Miami International Airport to dad waiting to pick her up
- An hour after she put the baby on the flight herself, the airline called her to say the baby was missing
- Flight attendants waved the child off the plane, but did not escort her through the terminal
- The child was able to contact his father on his own and made it through the terminal safely
- American Airlines said it was taking the matter “seriously” and was investigating the incident
A Georgia A mom criticized American Airlines for the “loss” of her 12-year-old daughter, who was flying alone from Tennessee to Miami.
39-year-old Monica Gilliam, a professor of photography, spoke about the nightmare scenario on TikTok in a post that went viral with over 157,000 views and over 19,000 comments.
“It’s not normal and it shouldn’t happen,” she said in the video.
Monica Gilliam (left) took to TikTok to talk about the call she received from American Airlines saying her daughter was “lost” at the Miami airport
Last week, she paid an extra $150 for a chaperone for her teenage daughter, who was flying alone as an “unaccompanied minor” from the Chattanooga airport to visit the girl’s father in Florida for a three-week visit. Fox News.
Gilliam’s baby had a lanyard with her name and flight information on it, like a shipping tag, so her identity and guardian could be identified.
As part of the service, flight attendants or airline staff were required to escort the child off the plane to the parent or guardian at the other end of the flight, verifying their identity before handing the child over to their care.
An American Airlines representative told the Gillies that they had closed the Miami airport in search of her 12-year-old daughter, who they had lost sight of.
Monica Gilliam feared her daughter was wandering unsupervised in what she called “the largest human trafficking center in the country.”
That didn’t happen to Gilliam’s daughter, Kimber, she said in the viral post.
“Almost an hour after her flight landed, I got a call from American Airlines,” the furious mom said in the video.
“It was an American Airlines manager in Miami and he said, ‘Your child is missing, we’ve closed the terminal, we don’t know where she is.’
The child’s flight landed early, and instead of an escort, the flight attendants waved the child off, Gilliam said.
“It turned out that the flight attendants waved her off the plane and said ‘goodbye’ and she didn’t know what to do so she kept going because they told her ‘goodbye’ so she kept going.”
A child wandered through the terminal, an image that shook Gilliam to his core.
“So she’s walking through the airport with this billboard saying she was an unaccompanied minor in one of the biggest human trafficking centers in the country,” she said on TikTok.
The child was able to contact her father and he spoke to her at the airport until they met without further drama, but that doesn’t let the airline off the hook.
“American Airlines staff did not stop her at the gate to see if she had adults, no Miami airport staff stopped her, and even a TSA security agent — before she left the security area at baggage claim — stopped her.” .
The airline said it was investigating the incident.
“American cares deeply about our young passengers and is committed to providing them with a safe and enjoyable travel experience,” the airline said in a statement. “We take these matters very seriously and are looking into what happened. A member of our team has contacted the customer to learn more about their experience.”
That’s cold comfort to Gilliam, who still seemed traumatized by the experience.
“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else, and if your child is flying unaccompanied on American Airlines, think about it,” Gilliam said. “It’s not normal and it shouldn’t happen.”