Mum blasts airline after losing her daughter, 12, in trafficking hotspot

An outraged mum claims she received an alarming phone call from an airline to inform her that they had "lost" her child at an airport.

Monica Gilliam slammed American Airlines after she was reportedly told that her 12-year-old daughter was "missing", despite her booking a chaperone service so she would be safe.

The 39-year-old said her little girl was safely escorted on her flight from Chattanooga, Tennessee, but was left unattended during the flight and when she landed to visit her dad in Miami.

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Ms Gilliam described the ordeal on TikTok and said: "It was the American Airlines manager at Miami and he says, ‘your child is missing, we’ve shut down the terminal, we don’t know where she is.'

“I was like, ‘how did you lose my child?’ You know, how do you lose an unaccompanied minor?”

She told WSBTV that she had paid an additional $150 (£125.33) to use the service, that American Airlines says is mandatory when sending kids under the age of 15 by themselves.

On the website, the airline highlights that it includes “escorting the child to the authorised adult picking them up when they land”.

According to ABC, the single mum of four couldn't afford to buy herself a ticket but believed her child would be ok in the hands of staff.

Ms Gilliam added: “It turns out that the flight attendants waved her off the plane and said ‘bye’ and she didn’t know what to do so she kept going because they were telling her ‘bye’ so she kept walking.”

The mum said the airline put her daughter at risk after she carried an “unaccompanied minor” sign in a hub that has been described as number one for trafficking in Florida.

“So she’s 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,” she stressed on TikTok.

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Ms Gilliam said her daughter had to be navigated through the jam-packed airport by her father via Facetime on July 4 weekend.

Fortunately, the girl's father was able to meet his daughter inside the baggage claim, reports the Independent.

The mum says the airline apologised and offered her three free flights which she doubts she will want to use after the incident.

The Airline told ABC News that it “cares deeply about our young passengers and is 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."

American Airlines has been contacted for comment.

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