Spirit Airlines has fired a gate agent in Philadelphia for putting an unaccompanied 6-year-old boy on the wrong plane — which flew him hundreds of miles from his intended destination in Florida.
Spirit blamed the gate agent for first-time flyer Casper Ramos ending up on a flight to Orlando International Airport instead of one heading to Southwest Florida Airport in Fort Myers, more than 200 miles away.
“We take the safety and responsibility of transporting all our Guests seriously, and we have policies and procedures in place to prevent this type of situation from happening,” the company told WINK News in a statement.
“To better understand what occurred, we immediately launched a thorough internal investigation and discovered that a gate agent in Philadelphia (PHL) escorted the child to the incorrect aircraft,” it said.
“This agent is no longer working with Spirit, and any individual whose actions resulted in the incorrect boarding will be held accountable for failing to follow our procedures,” the statement added.
The airline said it is “reiterating our procedures to the team” and also is in touch with the child’s family, which has said it was weighing legal options as it sought answers for the mix-up.
Maria Ramos, Casper’s grandmother, said she was pleased the airline finally took action.
“I’m happy about getting answers after seven days,” Ramos told the news outlet. “They called me, and they told me, ‘I’m sorry, it’s our mistake.’ I guess they looked at the camera.”
Despite the news about the probe and action against the staffer, Ramos said, she wants additional details.
“I want more and I really want to see videos. I really want to see videos. I’m working with Spirit Airlines to get back with more answers,” she told WINK.
Former flight attendant and CEO of Travelers Care Shelly-Ann Cawley described the process involved with unaccompanied minors.
“You check in at the ticket counter with your child, you go through security, you get a boarding pass, you take your child to the gate, and you’re supposed to wait until that plane takes off,” she told the outlet.
Contrary to public perception, a flight attendant will not stay with a solo-flying child for the duration of the trip.
“Most airline policy will tell you, if you look at their contract of carriage, it will say the flight attendant will check on your child time permitting,” Cawley told WINK. “Their primary duty is not just that child. It’s the 100, 150 or 280 passengers on board that airplane.”
Ramos previously expressed her dismay at how the incident occurred.
“Come on, you have cameras all over this place. You have cameras in your plane. You have cameras all over. You’re telling me you don’t know what happened to Casper, five days later, and it’s under investigation?” she told the outlet, adding that she was considering getting legal help.
Spirit said earlier that the boy was “always under the care and supervision of a Spirit Team Member, and as soon as we discovered the error, we took immediate steps to communicate with the family and reconnect them.”
Ramos, who said she was listed as the child’s emergency contact, has insisted that the airline never notified her that he was on a flight to Orlando. Instead, she said, she was only told he never made it on the plane bound for Fort Myers.
Casper finally FaceTimed his grandmother, who set out on a four-hour drive to pick up the 6-year-old.
The company has offered to reimburse her for the drive and also told her that it would pay for Casper’s return flight to Philadelphia and a round trip for Ramos to accompany him.
Spirit allows unaccompanied minors — between 5 and 14 years old — to travel domestically across the US on direct flights.
The Post has reached out to the airline for additional comment.