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Bay Area Couple Claims United Lost 10-Year-Old After SFO Flight

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A United Airlines plane comes in for a landing. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

A United Airlines plane comes in for a landing. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – In a scathing letter to management at United Airlines, a Bay Area couple claims that the airline lost their daughter when she traveled as an unaccompanied minor from San Francisco to Chicago.

The story was first reported on Stanford Professor Bob Sutton’s blog. He identified the parents as friends Annie and Perry Klebahn, and included a link to their full complaint to United, which read:

We dropped our 10-year old Phoebe at the San Francisco airport on Saturday, June 30th for her first flight as an unaccompanied minor. She was traveling through Chicago to Traverse City, Michigan to summer camp for two weeks. The United personnel who gave her the wristband and instructions told her very loud and clear to “only go with someone with a United badge on and that she would be accompanied at all times.”

According to the couple, nobody met Phoebe at the airport in Chicago to help her make the connecting flight, a fact they only learned when her camp called to inform them that she had not arrived on the flight from Chicago.

After spending time on hold, the Klebahn’s claim that United blamed the third-party service assigned to their child forgot to show up. After attempting contact United in Chicago for another 45 minutes, and pleading with a United representative that their child was missing, someone was eventually able to locate Phoebe and put her on the phone.

According to the family, she made a flight four hours later, but her bags did not – leaving the 10-year-old in 100 degree temperatures without a change of clothes while her parents worked to track down her bag.

In the letter, the Klebahn’s said they filed a complaint, but had yet to get an apology from United, or a refund for the $99 transfer service.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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