When Maribel Martinez arrived at New York’s JFK airport to pick up her 5-year-old son Andy after a visit to the Dominican Republic, she went through what must be one of every parents’ darkest, most Imposter-y nightmares. Instead of bringing her Andy, they introduced her to a child she had never seen before who was in possession of Andy’s passport.
“No, this is not my child,” she told them.
“Ohhhhhhhhh, uhhhhhhhhhh, yeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiikkkkkkkkessssssssssss,” the JetBlue employees responded while slowly backing away in the fictionalized re-enactment currently playing in my mind.
Writes the NYDN:
“I thought he was kidnapped,” Martinez, 38, told the Daily News. “I thought I would never see him again.”
“I was freaking out. I didn’t know if he was alive. I still haven’t stopped crying.”
But she was eventually reunited with her real son, thank Sully. What happened was what those in the biz like to call the old Unaccompanied Minor Switcheroo. You know, a Mid-Air Mix-Up. A classic Flyin’ Child Oopsy Daisy. At some point during their interactions with JetBlue employees, the kids were put on the wrong planes; NYC-bound Andy, went to Boston, and the other child, bound for Boston, ended up in NYC.
But even though JetBlue “refunded her $475 for the flight and also gave the family $2,100 in credit for future flights,” Martinez has no desire to fly the airline ever again. Since the incident, she has has hired attorney Sanford Rubenstein, who said:
“Any parent can understand the terrifying fear a mother goes through knowing that her child is missing. This never should have happened and the JetBlue employees should be ashamed of themselves.”
Damn straight it shouldn’t have happened! I’m trying to picture my mother’s reaction if this happened to me, and it’s...not pretty. She’s screaming words I’ve never heard her use before and I’m sneaking away to my bedroom, where I put on my headphones and turn the Jurassic Park soundtrack all the way up.