The 12-year-old was able to find her dad in Miami airport all by herself.
Monica Gilliam, a mother from Chattanooga, Tennessee, claimed that American Airlines lost track of her 12-year-old daughter who flew to Miami to visit her father. The mom took to TikTok to detail the harrowing experience.
A Georgia mom is speaking out after she said her 12-year-old daughter, who was traveling solo as an unaccompanied minor, exited an American Airlines flight at a Miami airport by herself after landing — without an adult guide. https://t.co/j6UqXvbRZj— ABC News (@ABC) July 9, 2022
"Almost an hour after her flight landed, I got a call from American Airlines," she recounted in the clip. "It was the [AA] manager at Miami ... He says, 'Your child is missing. We've shut down the terminal. We don't know where she is'."
"It turns out that the flight attendants waved her off the plane and said 'bye.' And she said she didn't know what to do, so she kept going because they were telling her bye. So, she kept walking," Gilliam added. Thankfully, her daughter managed to find her dad without any help from the AA crew or Miami International Airport employees.
@relativelymonica The utter failure by @American Airlines ,#tsa and #mia ♬ original sound - relativelymonica
Meanwhile, the airlines issued a statement to PEOPLE, where they stressed that they "cares deeply about our young passengers" and are "committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for them."
"We take these matters very seriously and are looking into what occurred. A member of our team has reached out to the customer to learn more about their experience," the airline company added.
According to the airline's website, children between the ages of 5 and 14 who are traveling alone must use its unaccompanied minor service. The service involves both "escorting the youngster to the authorized adult picking them up when they land" and "an airport escort to help your child to the gate for aircraft connections."
Gilliam also shared that the service needs the minors traveling alone to wear an unaccompanied minor tag on a necklace that contains their boarding pass and the information of the adult who will be picking them up.
"So, she [was] going through the airport with that billboard on her that she was an unaccompanied minor in one of the largest human trafficking hubs in the country."
The little one managed to get hold of her father to tell him her flight landed early as he was trying to get a gate pass. He then talked her through the signs in order "to get her to him as safely and as quickly as possible."
"I don't want this to happen to anybody else, and if your child is flying an unaccompanied flight with American Airlines, then consider that," Gilliam concluded in the video. "It's not OK, and it shouldn't happen."
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @relativelymonica