Nightmare In Spain: Iberia Airlines Strands 3 Children

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Inside their Madrid hotel room, a 17 year old girl stays up, keeping an eye out for her younger siblings
Inside their Madrid hotel room, a 17 year old girl stays up, keeping an eye out for her younger siblings…

Update: Iberia’s Twitter team sent me this message, presumably in response to the tagging them in the Tweet for this post. They are still as oblivious as ever:


Could there be a worse nightmare than having 3 of your kids traveling on their own bumped off a flight in a foreign country and unceremoniously punted off to a hotel to fend for themselves? Iberia did just that to a DansDeals reader’s kids.

Leorah Addi, known on the DansDeals Forums as LeeAddi, bought her kids, ages 11, 15, and 17, round-trip tickets from Tel Aviv to Miami to fly by themselves to visit their grandparents. While El Al will begin flying nonstop from Tel Aviv to Miami starting in November, there are currently no nonstops available.

The kids flew alone from Tel Aviv to Miami on British Airways with a connection in London without any issues. Their return ticket from Miami to Tel Aviv was booked on Iberia Airlines with a connection in Madrid.

In Miami, their grandfather accompanied them to the Iberia check-in counter before their return flight. When they asked for the Iberia boarding passes for their connecting flight from Madrid to Tel Aviv, they were told that they would need to request boarding passes after landing in Madrid. This happened despite the fact that they were on a single ticket on a single airline from Miami to Tel Aviv via Madrid. Their checked baggage was sent directly to Tel Aviv so that they could connect in Madrid without rechecking their baggage.

In Madrid the kids went to the gate agent, who informed them that they were being involuntarily bumped off of the flight as they were the last to check-in.

The kids told the gate agent that they were just 3 people under the age of 18 in a foreign country, but the gate agent refused to solicit or find other passengers to be bumped instead of them.

The kids called their mother while at the gate and handed the phone to the gate agent.

Ms. Addi was incredulous and asked the gate agent how she could possibly bump 3 children off of their flight. The agent coldly informed that they were the last to check-in and there is no law preventing minors from being bumped off a flight. When Ms. Addi begged the gate agent to have some compassion for 3 kids traveling by themselves, the gate agent abruptly handed the phone back to her daughter and said, “I cannot speak to your mother!”

The kids were sent to a customer service desk and given a hotel voucher and nothing else. There was no further communication between the airline and Ms. Addi.

Iberia left 3 children alone in a foreign country without assuming any responsibility for their well-being. Neither Ms. Addi, who was in Israel, nor her 17 year old daughter, who was in a Madrid hotel room, were able to get any sleep due to their anxiety over the situation.

While Ms. Addi was solely concerned about her kids’ safety, Iberia should have minimally offered compensation for involuntarily bumping 3 minors off their flight. EU law calls for €600 ($716) in compensation, while Israeli law calls for 3,080 Shekels ($867) in compensation.

However, the Iberia customer service desk in Madrid told the kids that they could only receive a hotel voucher and not a compensation check for being bumped, as they were all under 18. Funny how they were old enough to be bumped off of a flight, but not old enough to be compensated for it…

Iberia in Tel Aviv said they were not able to handle any compensation issues.

I asked Iberia’s PR team for an explanation of the following items as the story boggled my mind:

  1. How is it possible that these 3 kids were the last passengers to check-in for the Madrid to Tel Aviv flight? When the agent in Miami checked their luggage through to Tel Aviv, the kids should have been checked in for both legs, as well.
  2. Even if they were the last to check-in, why would Iberia select 3 minors to be involuntarily bumped in their connection city?
  3. It seems like the family is owed €1,800 under EU law or 9,240 Israeli Shekels under Israeli law, why are they still receiving a run-around?

I waited a week for Iberia to investigate the issue and they finally replied with the following:

“Hi Daniel!

I hope that you are fine.

First of all, I would like to apologize for not being able to answer your e-mail before.

As you already know, our three customers have tickets issued by American Airlines that included two flights operated by Iberia: Miami-Madrid and Madrid-Tel Aviv. The first flight (Miami-Madrid) was booked under an American Airlines flight code, but operated by Iberia.

According to airline regulations, children who are younger than 12 years old cannot fly without an adult. Iberia offers an Unaccompanied Minor service for children aged 5 to 12 years old, who travel on their own. We also offer the Young People service for children aged 12 to 17 years old travelling on their own.

Though the Unaccompanied Minor service needs to be booked for children aged 5 to 12 years old when flying on Iberia flights on their own, the Young People service for children aged 12 to 17 years old can be booked, but it is not mandatory.

In this case, we weren’t able to find any Young People service in the booking of the three passengers. As in this case, there were two young people, aged 15 and 17, who are allowed to fly on their own according to the procedures mentioned above, accompanying a child, who was 11 years old, and this is also allowed. As no Young People Service was booked, that service wasn’t offered.

Upon arrival at Madrid airport, the flight to Tel Aviv was overbooked, the three customers were offered a hotel and meal vouchers. The three customers are also entitled to a compensation of 600€ per person. According to our records, the compensation wasn’t denied, but we have already issued an electronic-voucher to pay it. My colleagues in the Customer Service department are going to contact the customers to explain them how to proceed to receive the compensation.

Hope that this information helps you.

Best regards,

Consuelo Arias

External Comms. · Corporate Communications”

Quite frankly, I’m shocked by that response.

Yes, they didn’t pay for Iberia’s unaccompanied minor service, but they did not have to. Perhaps there is no law prohibiting minors from being bumped, but what about common sense and decency? Why were other passengers not solicited or bumped instead of 3 children in a foreign country?

I’m happy that they will be provided compensation (though I do think they are entitled to the higher level of Israeli compensation instead of European compensation), but Iberia’s response did not address how it could be possible that the minors could have been the last to check-in for the Madrid-Tel Aviv flight when they should have been checked in while in Miami for the entire journey.

And finally, there was no apology or acknowledgment that things should have been handled better by the airline.

In summary:

  • Iberia failed to properly communicate with the children’s parent about the situation.
  • Iberia failed to provide the requested boarding passes in Miami for the Madrid to Tel Aviv segment.
  • Iberia’s gate agent in Madrid failed to have any common sense and decency beyond the letter of the law by bumping 3 minors off of a flight.
  • Iberia failed to provide a reckoning of why the minors were chosen, despite having checked in for their flights in Miami.
  • Iberia failed to provide a proper apology to Ms. Addi for their mistakes.

Iberia stranded 3 kids in a city where they didn’t speak the language, without taking any sort of responsibility for their well-being.

United made headlines earlier this year for calling the Chicago Aviation Police to remove Dr. Dao from a plane when he refused to be bumped. They quickly released an official report on what happened and paid him big bucks to settle the case without being able to bring any further lawsuits against any parties involved.

That prompted several airlines to stop the practice of involuntary bumping and US airlines have been bumping fewer people than ever.

United was compelled to adopt many customer friendly policy changes. Clearly those have yet to make their way across the pond.

With such a deficit in common sense, perhaps it is time for there to be laws against bumping minors flying alone off of a plane, but all I can say here is: Shame on Iberia!

You can share this story on social media with #IberiaBumpsKids or you can share these posts:

Nightmare In Spain: Iberia Airlines Strands 3 Children #IberiaBumpsKidshttps://www.dansdeals.com/points-travel/airlines/airline-news/nightmare-spain-iberia-airlines-strands-3-children/

Posted by DansDeals.com on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

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124 Comments on "Nightmare In Spain: Iberia Airlines Strands 3 Children"

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Mark

Insane.

Anony mouse

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW

SearchGuy

Shocking story!
I can’t imagine in my dreams having my kids abandoned like that, Iberia should’ve at a minimum apologize or something, just to leave the story flying like that is unheard of

henche

You should have called this “The Kids in Spain are Bumped off the Plane” lol

username

Finally a reason to pay the exorbitant unaccompanied minor fee.
If you dont, we will bump you…

Joshua J Cohen

dan, are you going to post this on their FB or Twitter page and publicly shame them? Nothing else except public condemnation seems to concern airlines these days anyways.

Cholent

Shame on Iberia. They have no common sense or basic decency.

TA

Where is the mainstream media on this?

Me

Right here

Jack out of the box

The media doesn’t pick up on every story everywhere in the world. Dan at this point though has far enough reach that it may get out there due to this post.

Mendel

If you convince them that somehow it was president Trump’s fault they’ll jump on the story, otherwise they’ll stay in they’re bubble with all the other conspiracy theories about Trump.

Everybody else is irrelevent.

Of course, the only reason you posted this is because they’re Jews. Shocker.

You idiot

Jump in the lake!
Read all his posts and then talk. Shocker!

jeff

If you don’t like Dans site, unsubscribe. Funny, you are on this site for help on deals, yet you criticize his compassion for a disturbing situation. The same can be said for mainstream media, they did not pick up on this story. Should we rely on people like yourselves to get this heart wrenching story out?

Chabadrox

I hope this family gets a good lawyer to knock some sense into Iberia and some cents out of their bank account.

Ra

This is despicable!!! IBeria, should be blacklisted from this site (at the very least, every post about any deals with Iberia, should include a link to this article).

henche

Ooh, ooh, change title to: Major Mishegas! Minor Marranos Marooned in Madrid, Minus Macaroons! Mom Mad!

Renah Bell

I love it.

Isaac

I was bumped off their flight as well!
I flew AA from JFK with a stop in Madrid Spain, need to take Iberia connecting flight to Israel, I had a 5 Months old Baby with me, and i told them i don’t have enough Kosher Baby Formula, they didn’t care and they gave the next flight after 36 HOURS!!! with a STOP!!! in rome……………

Jack out of the box

I hope you at least made sure to get due compensation.

Isaac

I did get €600 but this is still insane! as they didn’t ask anyone to voluntarily take the money and stay in a free hotel with free (non-kosher) meals in spain for 36 hours, as i am sure that other people would look at it as a free vacation and go for it

reb yid

Everything you’re saying is correct.
However.
Things do happen, and it’s possible that a parent should have a plan in place to cover various eventualities. For example, let’s say there was bad weather and the airport was closed. That would not have been Iberia’s fault, no one to blame, yet the kids would have been stranded nonetheless. At the same time that we’re focusing on Iberia’s insensitivity, let’s also see how to prevent situations like this from our end.
Additionally, booking codeshares, as well as connecting flights, clearly increases the risk of this type of occurence.

Jack out of the box

But still, minors should be at the bottom of the bump list even if they check in last.

Steve

Good point. My sil booked a TLV- NYC ticket with AA. The actual carriers were TLV- MAD El Al and MAD-NYC Iberia. When his luggage was lost nobody took ownership. After a long struggle AA finally reimbursed him.

Isaac

Come on!!! people also die from car accidents, 99% of people flying to places don’t have a problem, and yes for bumping them off (what is something that can happen more often) she shouldn’t worry…… as she at least thought that human beings are the ones to bump off…. unfortunately that wasn’t the case

joe

sorry however if you send a 17-year-old with 2 children she or he should be responsible enough to go to a hotel just saying….ibeara are jerks however things happen and you should always prep for the worst

Zac

Spread the word. These guys respond to social media and public outrage from a publicity perspective. I am thankful this did not make the news like those other cases. Thankfully nothing bad happened to them. I am outraged that they would do this from both a customer service perspective and common decency. It was dangerous and it was highly irresponsible. From a human perspective they should have at least escorted them to the hotel and provided a liaison constantly in touch with them and their parents. Should something have happened… it would be a huge news story and a big lawsuit that would certainly have rivaled and surpassed the other stories of late. Thankfully nothing did happen… and that is why it is quiet here. That said, no reason not to make some social media noise for this family. I would certainly not use any flight that touches Iberia… at least not with my kids after hearing this story. What a terrible, cold and thoughtless airline.

Kelly

I don’t think that people should do anything, or the airlines might change their policies and require even 17 year-olds flying without younger siblings to pay an additional fee. If you send kids on a flight alone and without airline supervision (e.g. you DON’T pay the unaccompanied minor’s fee), you better be sure that they can handle it. Otherwise, pay up and this will not happen.

Renah Bell

Yes, Iberia did not deal with the situation responsibly because the children were young, but my kids would have considered it a great adventure- after all, they had a hotel room and a chance to see a new country. 17 is old enough to take responsibility for younger siblings and those siblings are old enough to cooperate and enjoy it. The kosher food could be a problem, but a 17 year old should know how to find acceptable substitutes in fruit and vegetables. Yes, the airline should have paid them the bumping fee to go towards another trip.

D

Not surprising, after all this is where the inquisition happened

Adam C

Hi Dan, I know the assistant to the CEO of Iberia. If you don’t mind I will be sending this article to her. This is definitely something they should be aware of at the highest level. If you have any questions you can email me.

Let me know if they reach out to you, and correct their misgivings.

Charles

perhaps you should start by retracting your first email…the email makes it sound like the parents are at fault for not purchasing the unaccompanied minor service, yet according to your own website you state “Children are considered to be accompanied if they travel with a person 16 years or older on the day of the flight”. Being that the Minors all travelled with a 17-year-old why even paint the picture as if the passenger did anything wrong?

Why can’t the airlinel stop looking at passengers as a piece of cattle? Does Iberia specifically tell its staff to not use common sense?!?

chaim

What a crazy story, im thinking to myself what would i do in this situation?!.

jak

unreal!!!
gotta share, and go viral!

Shaul

Obviously, the mother in this family had every right to book the way she did, and Iberia is 100% in the wrong. However, I think it lacks common-sense on the mother to book the connection in a foreign country for minors, instead of booking via NYC, so that at least if there was an issue with the connection, they would be in the USA. Misconnects happen all the time for a variety of reasons, and I personally think it’s a bad plan for a 17 year old to have to navigate that in the first place.

goldenshirt

This is totally insane. Iberia should be ashamed of themselves. This story should be publicized on the media so this story goes viral, and they should learn a lesson.

sam

That is why you don’t have children fly by themselves internationally.

Yossi

If only there was a video that can go viral…

Thank you Dan for your service!

Liz

I would SO have loved to see where this story would have went if it were 3 minors in Hijab’s

Siberia

What audacity!
That picture gives me the chills.

Why chills?

Really? obviously a bad situation but the picture itself is just kids in a hotel room, nothing too terrible.

Siberia

Huh!? Tell me you would feel safe if your kids were those in the picture.

Why chills?

The situation is horrible for a parent but a picture of children in a hotel room is not. I can take a picture of children on a Pesach program and it would look the same. If your point was that the situation is horrible though we are in agreement.

dreon

not sure if I would title this nightmare with all the bad things happening in the world

TroyArcher

Dan,

Thanks for bringing this story out in the public. The way things usually work is that most people do not complain, and those who do almost all do not know how to get their complaints out in the public. That said for this one MAJOR insane incident that is now quickly making it to the mainstream media thanks to Dan, there possibly can be hundreds if not thousands more like it that never got any attention. Shame on Iberia Airlines, Shame on the Agent, Shame on her Managers, and Shame on American Airlines for partnering with such a despicable bunch of people who have let such an incident to happen.

If I was a Judge I would make them pay enough money to teach them a lesson not to mess with minors who can not defend themselves but rather instead they should of helped them.

Dan they have shamefully not answered the most important of your reasonable questions, plus have not even apologized as of this post.

Shame on them

David.K

shocking!!

Mark

Let’s assume a different scenario that there was a weather issue and their flight was cancelled. The issue here is that 3 minors took a stop over flight in a foreign country likely to save a few dollars instead of taking a stop over in the US. Sure Iberia erred but so did LeeAddi. Was it worth it in the end?

Suave

You are making an assumption that this was just to save money?
AFAIK, Iberia & American Airlines do not have direct flights to TLV from the US.

Lee Addi

I do not regret that my kids had a once in a lifetime trip with their grandparents. I obviously had concerns sending my kids overseas but I put my faith and trust in this airline to treat them fairly. Instead they seem to have been chosen as an easy target to deal with their overbooking issues.

Cost to protect the kids?

What would the additional cost have been to adequately protect them? And why did you not pay for it?

Gary

That’s like the people joking that United will start charging a surcharge not to be beaten up. Only difference is that you’re serious. Do you work for United or Iberia? Most normal people don’t think this way.

A mirrer

Seriously get a life!
If you’d like to blame the victim you can go to flyertalk and blame the customer every time the airline ***** ups as that seems to be the norm there.

Gary

The problem is that the airline decided to jump on the most vulnerable people on the manifest to throw off.

Questionable Parenting

Questionable Parenting

Even though it wasn’t *required* they pay for the unaccompanied services, what kind of reckless parent would take such a risk?

It’s no secret the airlines are trying to monetize *everything*, but neither is it their responsibility to step in and safeguard others’ wellbeing when parents recklessly choose not to do so.

Gary

You’re right. If you see someone vulnerable, you should take advantage. You inspired me to mug an old lady an take her purse and social security check she lives off. Thanks!

Chaim

What?

Seth Kent

There was a 17 yr old guardian with the children, they did not pay for the service which would eliminate this scenario, and got paid well for the inconvenience. This is someone trying to make a big deal out of nothing, and honestly it just makes us look bad.

Ari

The mother clearly expressed to Iberia she did NOT want to ‘get paid well for the incovenience’. She would have been thrilled to have someone like you get bumped but she did not get the choice. The 3 were involuntarily removed from the flight because Iberia apparently didn’t want to go through the trouble of negotiating with 3 adults.

Eugene

That’s absolutely awful and also not that surprising. We live in Houston and have been decimated by hurricane harvey, our parents houses flooded 3 feet of water and now they are living with us. We had to postpone our trip to Spain (and postpone our Iberia flight as well), I emailed Iberia to see if they would waive the change fee but nope, no sympathy and no interest in waiving fee. Same with Monarch.

Dan\'s the Man

#IberiaBumpsKids

Anonytweet

These kids were deliberately targeted in order to minimize the financial responsibility of the Iberia

Deb

Seems like it. Agent refused to continue to speak with their mother and never brought up compensation. It’s wonderful that the kids are ok and it is going to work out but it shouldn’t be this way and it’s not the mother’s fault. The bottom line is, where does Iberia draw the line? If you don’t choose the fee for your 13 yo traveling alone, do they bump that child and send them out to a hotel on their own in a foreign country? How far does it go until someone at Iberia realizes they are being negligent by doing this to children?

Reading the other comments it might be a general understanding of customer service. Several instances of rude and cold behavior. Leaving a passenger with a baby for 36 hours without kosher baby formula? You don’t do that to a child. I’m not Jewish, it has nothing to do with being Jewish, except for the type of formula the baby drinks. Babies can’t just be switched around on different formulas unless it was a ‘drink this or get nothing’ situation. Being involuntarily bumped isn’t one of those situations. She wasn’t complaining about a lack of caviar, she didn’t have enough back up of the formula her baby drinks. How is that difficult for a service company to understand?

Josh

Sure it’s inconvenient but why such a huge outcry. If an 18 year old is responsible enough to get married then a 17 year old should be able to take two teens to a hotel overnight. It’s not like they left them on the street with no food or shelter and they each are getting 600 euros. That will pay for their next flight lucky them.

sky121

A 17 year can take two teens to a hotel. Heck I know 13 year olds that are responsible and savvy enough to go to a hotel with 2 young kids and take care of them as well.

In all honesty, if you were working at that airline would you not have tried to find 3 other folks before making 3 young capable minors stay overnight?

jeff

I hate to generalize, but Spanish airlines, and hotels are not known for there hospitality, common sense or sensitivity to situations. I had a situation with Iberia, where they made an error on the date of an award booking, and they refused to correct it without paying a fee(caught there error on same phone call). There agents just don”t care, I asked them when my miles expire, and they can’t answer.

Lynn

strange thing is they couldn’t check in all the way to TLV while in Miami.

Me

I hardly ever comment, but I cannot hold myself back this time! To all the negative comments, you need to read more and write less! Legal or not legal, right or wrong, at the end of the day they are 3 KIDS! They should have never been bumped off to begin with! For arguments sake, if they had to be bumped off, the first thing that should have been done was for the airline to contact the parents, not the other way round!

Mark

The whole thing is quite shocking. The airline clearly screwed up in multiple ways, not checking them in for the entire flight, not searching for adults to bump, etc.

But I have a question about this statement – “Yes, they didn’t pay for Iberia’s unaccompanied minor service, but they did not have to.” Is it really true that they “didn’t have to”? I think US airlines require the person who is accompanying minors to be over age 18. Would that also be true for EU airlines?

Meora

Iberia is disgusting!!!! Ive dealt with their garbage but this is way worse, so scary for those poor kids!! I had a connection in Madrid on the way to Stockholm and we couldn’t find the gate because it was listed on the screen as Estocolmo. We got to our gate 2 minutes after boarding ended and the plane was literally still sitting there. There was NO agent at the gate, and if there had been we could have gotten on the plane. I had been checked in for the flight for hours and I’ve been in other situations where I made the flight in the nick of time and they are supposed to wait for you if you’re checked in!!! It was literally 10:02 and boarding ended 10:00. This was on a Friday at 10am btw right before shabbos!! And then when we finally got ahold of someone who worked at Iberia we had 3 different workers tell us our luggage was coming out of belt 6, only to find out it DID actually make it on the plane to Stockholm. After this, we had missed every other flight to Stockholm before shabbos and were stuck in Madrid without clothing for the weekend. On top of that, we had another flight on Sunday morning from Stockholm to Tel Aviv that we had to miss because there was no way for us to possibly board 2 minutes late

R

Sorry to hear you had that inconvenience, but . . . (1) Getting to the gate after it is closed is a losing situation the world over, on every airline. An agent at the gate may well have refused to open the door anyway. I have had that happen to me in Belgium (I had to drive to Amsterdam) and in the UK (I had to stay overnight when the next & last flight was canceled). In both, I was exactly 2 minutes late, and there were gate agents present. (2) It is your fault for not knowing that Estocolmo is Stockholm (just like Espana — which you must have seen posted all over — is Spain). If you travel, you have to assume that not everyone speaks English and that signage may be only in the local language. Would you complain if you got into a shower in Paris or Madrid and turned the faucet marked C not realizing that that stands for hot? (3) The Friday thing is irrelevant. I was once stuck in Toronto on a Friday due to weather-related cancellations of virtually an entire day’s flights, and I discovered that neither airlines nor other passengers were sympathetic to my plaintive pleas that I needed to get home for Shabbat. ditto when I needed to fly from Denver to NY and the only way to get home in time was to rebook to Philadelphia and drive.

Andy

I’m torn on this one. Iberia did a horrible job of handling the situation. However the parents were very reckless as well. Bumped passengers happen all the time.

flyingace

Yes, but minors should not be bumped. As per their own policy!

Andy

I don’t care what policy you are quoting it still happened. Don’t put your kids in that position in the first place. Iberia is an incompetent airline that screws up all the time. If peace of mind is important to the parents, then they should have purchased the accompany minor service. Dan has done a great job trying to educate everyone about taking care of your kids on planes. This includes buying a separate seat for your under 2 baby so you can install a car seat and be safe. It also should include taking care of older children. Buy the accompany minor service so you know they will be taken care of.

reader

you as a parent can do what you understand. and other people think different

reader

WOW WOW WOW !!
SHOCKING !!!

well every body can chose how to deal with there kids. but nothing answers the airlines miss behaveir

Toni

So- how does a MINOR agree to the terms and conditions that say they may get rescheduled bumped etc. – I’m not up to speed on how that works…. are the parents signing for them?

Jack Cohen

Another winning situation:

DELTA just emailed and welcomed us aboard tomorrow night’s JFK-FLL flight with my return on Sunday night. They didn’t say if we should arrive at the gate in swim suits for the return flight… 🙁

CollegeGirl

Wow wow wow! I’m so sorry for the family that this happened to. It’s a little shocking to see how many people dont get what’s wrong with this story. Also i think the real emphasis should be on the fact that they were stranded in a country where they did not speak the language! It’s one thing to have a connecting flight in a foreign country hence they’re parents booked them on this ticket. It’s another thing to go to a hotel and spend the night in a foreign country. These kids did nothing wrong for not paying for someone to accompany them from Iberia. I really hope this was a situation with Iberia and not American Airlines. I juat had a very good experience with American Airlines, I took a flight from EWR-SNA with a stopover in DFW it was a 43 minute connection on friday morning at 9:50 am. However our flight from ny was delayed an hour due to heavy in and lightening. We arrrived in Dallas at 10:20 and were told we’re booked on the 4:25/4:55 flight and we’re on standby for the 12 & 2:55 flights. We tried explaining to the ticketing agent we can’t fly Shabbos, she was like there is nothing I can do, we can be put priority which is #8&9!! We went to customer service to see if maybe we can do a different flight to LA. We explained the situation and we were two young girls, she in turn called her supervisor and magically we got two tickets right next to each other on the next flight to our original destination where our luggage was sent. I really hope this story with the three minors was a will never happen again situation and was a misdemeanor on Iberia’s part and had nothing to do with AA! Airlines should start giving their employees some common sense/logical situations classes. There have been way to many stories lately. DAN please update if anything comes of this. THANK YOU for using your site to help spread the word.

Elisa

This is horrifying. This is the reason why I can’t bring myself to let my Middle Schoolers fly alone. People laugh at me and tell me I’m a helicopter parent, and then there are articles like this which make me feel like I’m not overdoing it. Thanks so much for posting this and bringing this issue to everyone’s attention. This should be picked up by mainstream media. Meanwhile, I’m going to share with 10,000 of my coworkers…..

Marcos

A middle schooler would definitely be too young to travel completely alone but older teenagers should be able to go visit relatives on their own or with a sibling and/or other young relatives, ideally flying non-stop but connections are doable under the right conditions and with the right airline. In fact, on their way to Miami those kids had no problems connecting at London Heathrow, a much more congested airport where you often have to change terminals (there’s four of them). Iberia is the one who screwed up here.

Manny

Thank you for alerting to this inexcusable situation. Iberia still has no idea of what it did. I will never fly this piece of crap.

Hunch

Crazy stuff.

I’m gonna guess that anyone leaving negative comments about this story, either doesn’t have kids, or was never stranded in a foreign country.

If that’s the case, please don’t post, as you can’t relate to this story at all.

Susan

Horrible! Can’t imagine what I’d do if this happened to my kids!

I’d suggest the mother turn to an Israeli reporter about this. There are a few TV shows dealing exactly with these issues and would “love” to publish the story on Israeli TV.

Yosef Younes

When the Spanish government decided to start inviting the Jews to return to Spain, I thought it was meant to be more inviting and longer term. I guess this is one way of having them return involuntarily. Go figure.

Joe

I flew AA from CDG-ORD on an Iberia ticket. AA couldn’t assign us seats because it was an Iberia ticket and Iberia couldn’t assign us seats because it was AA metal. Their whole codeshare relationship seemed to make it difficult for the customer.

zachory

What i take out of this whole thing is, that the DansDeals readers and especially formsers have a devoted coach, and an amazing leader! who goes out of his way to help, train, and even fight for his pupils!! KEEP IT UP RABBI!!
#DanTheMan

dafi

shame on the heartless people.

Ari

I see back in July, EasyJet also involuntarily bumped a child on an International Flight. https://goo.gl/mrHQW2 . Why bother talking to an adult when you can pick on a naive child??

FrequentFlyer

I would just like to add from my own experience with Iberia, that when I checked-in for my Madrid-TLV flight, I asked the check-in agent if the flight was full. She said: “Of course the flight is full, I don’t know why people go there, but the flight to TLV is always full”. Nice touch, Iberia, nice touch.

Chaikel

For Israeli Law compensation I would advise trying the following contacts:
Iberia Israel Offices: 03-606-1555

Israeli’s Transportation Administration (which is really tough on transportation violations)
http://en.caa.gov.il/index.php?option=com_contact&view=category&catid=12&Itemid=74

David

I don’t know what Iberia’s official policy is, but here’s what seems to be United’s policy.
“Boarding Priorities – If a flight is Oversold, no one may be denied boarding against his/her will until UA or other carrier personnel first ask for volunteers who will give up their reservations willingly in exchange for compensation as determined by UA. If there are not enough volunteers, other Passengers may be denied boarding involuntarily in accordance with UA’s boarding priority:

a. Passengers who are Qualified Individuals with Disabilities, unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 years, or minors between the ages of 5 to 15 years who use the unaccompanied minor service, will be the last to be involuntarily denied boarding if it is determined by UA that such denial would constitute a hardship.”

It would seem self understood and is written in United’s charter. Wonder if this is a standard policy even if it’s not technically illegal.

menachem

my flight inside Europe was just cancelled, they stopped operating the route , could I get compensation?

Sam

I had some “wonderful” experiences with Iberia myself. They lost my luggage and I misplaced my luggage tag. I went to the help counter and they told me that if I have no tag it is as if my luggage wasn’t on the plane and they have no way of knowing if I actually have luggage and therefore there is nothing they can do for me. Called up and spent hours on the phone to no avail (I was not given any form of compensation- not even the toiletries bag) and they denied being able to locate my luggage number. This is obviously untrue as if there was an issue (security or otherwise) I am quite certain they would be able to find my suitcase. Eventually I called El Al (who I used for a different leg of the itinerary) and they gave me the number immediately which I then used to call Iberia who miraculously were then able to locate it. After that, Iberia said I should send in receipts for any purchased clothing which I did and never received a response or compensation. Terrible airline.

chaim

As i read the comments it drives me crazy to see people defend the airline or rashing out on the mother, are you people really that insane, there was a terrible story here with 3 kids and a mother who can’t do anything for them, and the airline didnt even try to help them, is that not a terrible thing from an airline, the agent should have just gone on to the plane and explain the situation on the mic.. i am sure she would have gotten 3 people to willingly get bump for a compensation. i would have done it for kids and forsure when they are in a foreign country.

And stop defending the airline it’s driving me crazy.

menachem

I googled iberia airlines and after the first 2 post (an ad and google flights) you were #6 down the page

Marcos

It’s clear Iberia screwed up from the beginning. First their inadequate systems did not check-in Leorah Addi’s kids to their final destination, then bumped them off their connecting flight basically because of said systems, failed to provide compensation, treated them gruffly and replied to complaints with a non-apology that reeks strongly of victim blaming. And the phrase “food vouchers” is conspicuously missing from this whole ordeal. Iberia has gotten good at wearing the world-class airline costume but the body and mind just underneath are still the same incompetent, surly and unscrupulous mess of old.

Leorah Addi has done NOTHING wrong. Their booking didn’t require any type of unaccompanied minor service, her eldest is at the age where lots of kids start traveling on their own and are expected to be able to watch over their younger siblings and the flight numbers a booking is made with shouldn’t affect anyone’s travel experience at all. It’s not their fault that a “full service” airline part of a multinational group and a worldwide alliance has failed at basic concepts such as codesharing, through checking, customer service and basic decency. We may all be entitled to our opinions but anyone that insists on blaming her is frankly part of the reason wrongdoers think they can get away with this type of behavior.

Andy

If you feel the kids are old enough to fly on their own then what is the problem here. Everyone knows that pretty much all airlines overbook and it can happen to anyone, even minors. If that risk is unacceptable then pay for the accompany minor service. This parent screwed up by trusting her kids safety to a lousy airline.

Marcos

Look, I’m all for buyer beware but when a company screws up it’s the COMPANY’S fault not the customer. It’s ironic how the internet has made it easier to take service providers to task over their failings and yet people on here do their very best to pin the blame on the customer, as if they were immune to being screwed over by companies and their shoddy customer service.

Mark Weinrib

Same airline – different story – hope this is ok
Wife broke leg in Spain. Had surgery. Had ticket Iberia/BA – Madrid to London, London to JFK. Needed to get her out of coach into a seat she could keep her leg raised. IB and BA would not help on phone – despite multiple calls. Airport check in said she gave us extra legroom for LDN – JFK. Wife wheeled onto plane – standard coach seat – 8 hours of hell
No compassion or concern by IB or BA. A week of them saying it was each other’s responsibility – flight ticketed by IB but managed by BA

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