Airline Flies 5-Year-Old to Boston as Terrified Mother Waits in New York

Maribel Martinez, accompanied by her attorney Sanford Rubenstein, left, and a translator, speaks at a news conference at her attorney's office, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. Martinez says she hasn't stopped crying since JetBlue airlines mistook her son for another child and flew him …
AP Photo/Richard Drew

A 5-year-old boy is back in his mother’s arms after a terrifying ordeal where he was mixed up with another 5-year-old boy and flown to the wrong location.

The 5-year-old boy was returning home alone from a family visit to the Dominican Republic when he was placed on a flight to Boston instead of New York, where his mother was waiting, The Daily News reports.

When JetBlue staffers presented the mother with another 5-year-old boy, Maribel Martinez was in shock.

“No, this is not my child,” Martinez recalled, telling JetBlue employees. “I was freaking out.”

Her son, Andy, was one of two unaccompanied 5-year-old boys who departed from the Dominican Republic.

The other boy happened to be carrying Andy’s passport even though Andy wore a wristband with his name on it, the Associated Press reports.

“I thought he was kidnapped,” said Martinez to The Daily News. “I thought I would never see him again.”

Martinez said that it took more than three hours to locate Andy in Boston. Once she talked to her son on the phone, Andy said to her, “Mami, they put me on another plane.”

Andy returned on a flight to New York the same day, while the other boy who was flown to New York in his place was safely returned to Boston, according to the airline.

The airline is still investigating how the mix-up occurred. Meanwhile, the airline refunded Martinez the $475 return ticket and gave her a $2,100 credit, the Associated Press reports.

Martinez has retained legal counsel from high-powered law firm Sanford Rubens and wants to sue the airline for negligence because the emotional distress the situation caused her, The Daily News reports.


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