A Georgia mother is demanding answers after American Airlines lost her daughter while she was traveling alone to visit her father. Monica Gilliam brought her 12-year-old daughter to Chattanooga Airport and made sure that she got on the flight to Miami.
In a TikTok video, Gilliam said that staff at the airport gave her daughter a lanyard to wear around her neck that showed she was an unaccompanied minor and included information about her and her father, who was waiting for her in Miami.
But, about two hours later, she received a call from her ex-husband telling her their daughter was missing. Then she received a phone call from a manager for American Airlines confirming that they could not find her daughter.
“Almost an hour after her flight landed, I got a call from American Airlines. It was the manager in Miami — the American Airlines manager — and he says, ‘Your child is missing. We’ve shut down the terminal. We don’t know where she is.'”
Gilliam said that as her daughter got off the plane, none of the American Airlines employees pulled her aside. Instead, she just kept walking through the terminal on her own. She eventually made her way to the baggage claims as she tried texting her dad to let him know where she was.
“On the way out, not one American Airlines employee stopped her to see if she had an adult, not one Miami airport employee stopped and even the TSA security agent before she left the secured area and went into baggage claim, they didn’t stop her either,” she said in the TikTok video.
After about 50 minutes of wandering the airport on her own, the young girl was reunited with her father.
Gilliam told WTVC that she feared for her daughter’s safety, especially in Miami, where human trafficking is a major concern.
“I still am getting chills right now. It’s Miami being a huge hub for human trafficking, like the thought of that could have been the last time I saw her. It’s too much,” she said.
American Airlines said it is looking into the incident.
“American 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,” the airline said in a statement.