The mother of a 5-year-old boy who was put on the wrong JetBlue plane home is taking legal action against the airline, her attorney said.
Maribel Martinez’s son and another child were put on the incorrect JetBlue planes when they were leaving the Dominican Republic in mid-August. Both boys were unaccompanied.
Martinez’s son ended up in Boston, as she waited for him at the Kennedy Airport, she told the New York Daily News.
JetBlue staffers presented Martinez with a different 5-year-old boy, who was carrying her son’s passport, according to the report. It is not clear why the other boy had Martinez’s passport.
“I thought he was kidnapped,” Martinez, 38, told the Daily News. “I thought I would never see him again.”
Martinez, who lives in Hamilton Heights, said she had paid a $100 fee to have her son escorted onto the plane, the report said.
Her attorney, Sanford Rubenstein, said legal action will be taken.
“Any parent can understand the terrifying feeling of fear a mother goes through knowing her young child is missing,” a statement said. “This should never have happened. Jet Blue’s employees should be ashamed of themselves.”
The airline confirmed the mistake in a statement.
“Two unaccompanied children of the same age traveling separately from Santiago, Dominican Republic — one to New York JFK and one to Boston — each boarded a flight to the incorrect destination,” the statement said. “Upon learning of the error, our teams in JFK and Boston immediately took steps to assist the children in reaching their correct destinations.”
JetBlue said it has apologized to both families, refunded their flights and offered credit toward future flights.
But Martinez told the Daily News she doesn’t plan to use JetBlue again.