HOUSTON – Continental Airlines
said it has taken steps to ensure that proper procedures are followed after two
unaccompanied girls were placed on wrong Continental Express flights over the
An 8-year-old College Station girl
erroneously ended up in Fayetteville, Ark., and a 10-year-old Massachusetts
girl was mistakenly sent to Newark,
N.J., after boarding planes
operated by ExpressJet, which is under contract with
Houston-based Continental said in a statement Tuesday that the
mix-up was a "miscommunication among staff."
"I have never seen so much incompetence in all my life,"
Wendy Babineaux told the Houston Chronicle. Her
daughter was headed to Charlotte,
N.C., on Saturday to see her
father. She was sent to Fayetteville, back to Houston and then to Charlotte.
Babineaux’s attorney, Wayne T. Rife, told The Associated Press Tuesday
night that his client became worried when the girl’s father called to find out
where their child was. He said his client is concerned about how Continental
Airlines handled the situation.
"It was just a complete breakdown in the procedures that were
supposed to be implemented," Rife said. "And, in Mrs. Babineaux’s perspective, Continental, to this point, has
not taken it seriously."
On Sunday, Jonathan Kamens said he put
his daughter, Miriam, on a Cleveland-bound flight at Logan Airport
in Boston to
visit her grandparents. He told WBZ-TV that shortly after the plane landed in Ohio, his father-in-law
called saying she had not arrived.
Kamens said for 45 minutes no one could tell him where his
daughter was. She was finally located unharmed in Newark.
Kamens said the number of people who failed to do their jobs is
Continental spokeswoman Kelly Cripe said
in an e-mailed statement that in both instances flights with different
destinations were being loaded at the same time from the same doorway and there
was miscommunication among staff members.
"In both circumstances the children were supervised
throughout the entire process and were rebooked and routed to the proper
destinations on the same day," Cripe said in the
Kamens said on his blog that the
airline offered him a $75 refund.