MARYLAND

United Airlines nearly loses unaccompanied Bethesda girl, father says

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Just days after news reports that United Airlines lost an unaccompanied girl it had been paid to escort to a connecting flight, a Bethesda father says United made a similar mistake with his daughter.

Squire Galbreath says a few days ago, he paid United $99 for an unaccompanied minor service for his 12-year old daughter Charlotte.

On Sunday Charlotte flew from Jackson, Wyoming, to Chicago to catch a connecting flight to Ronald Reagan Airport.

Squire says he had trouble contacting his daughter to let her know he'd paid for the unaccompanied minor service, but assumed the airline would let her know and would meet her just as she left her plane in Chicago to escort her.

But none of that happened.

"It was very disappointing," Galbreath said. "I don't know what they should do, but they definitely need to do something now."

Charlotte tells ABC7 it wasn't easy, but she was able to find her connecting flight.

"It said B6, but it was actually B5," she said. Charlotte also says she had to walk a long way to a different terminal to find the flight.

Her issues came after recent reports of an incident earlier in the summer in which a family says United lost their daughter for hours even though they had paid to have her escorted to a connecting flight.

That incident involved a 10-year old girl flying from San Francisco, and the trouble happened at the same airport -- Chicago O'Hare.

Squire says United has got to do something to make sure similar troubles don't keep happening.

"We're talking a child -- a life -- here," he said. "This is not just, oh I missed my flight."

United emailed the following statement to ABC7 on Sunday: 

"Camp chaperones escorting Charlotte Galbreath to the Jackson airport declined our escort service for all of the travelers aged 12-17 under their supervision. Since the chaperones did not complete the pre-departure paperwork that we require for young travelers specifically under United's supervision, we did not provide the unaccompanied minor service. We will reach out to the customer directly to refund that service charge."

United reportedly outsources the unaccompanied minor service to another company.

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