North Carolina

Airline apologizes after kids with disabilities stranded overnight at NC airport

Nine children with disabilities were stranded overnight at a North Carolina airport, prompting an airline to apologize.

The kids, all from Oregon and Washington state, were flying home from a summer camp Friday when their plane had a mechanical issue in Charlotte, KOIN reports.

Parent Kristie Hoyt says American Airlines officials didn’t tell them about the delay, which lasted 13 hours, KATU reports.

During that time, the kids were stuck on the tarmac and later brought “into a room for unaccompanied minors where they were told to sleep for the night,” KOIN reports.

There, Kelley Phillips said she and other campers were given limited food and bathroom visits, KATU reports.

“The only thing we had were crackers and soda, which isn’t good because we need real food to be able to take our medication,” she said, according to the station.

Kelley and the other kids all have neurofibromatosis, a condition that causes tumors in the brain and nerves, KGW reports. Many of the children on the trip need medication to prevent seizures and other symptoms, the station reports.

“Some of the campers had their medication under the plane and they wouldn’t give it to us,” Kelley said, according to KGW.

The kids also didn’t have enough supervision even though a charity paid for adults to accompany them, the station reports.

After the incident, American Airlines in a statement apologized and said it was going through a review process and contacting the kids’ families, KOIN reports.

“The children were kept in our dedicated unaccompanied minor room where they were kept safe and comfortable in the care of American Airlines personnel at all times,” the statement said, according to KOIN.

The kids eventually arrived safely at Portland International Airport on Saturday morning, KATU reports.

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