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Virgin Australia apologises after a 9-year-old boy is forced the night in the airport lounge

The boy, as well as other children, slept in the meeting room. Staff members had allegedly also provided them with cardboard boxes for the entertainment.
(Supplied/Katie Meredith)

Virgin Australia is yelled at by the angry mother of a 9-year-old boy who was forced to sleep in the lounge of an airport after his flight was diverted.

Katie Meredith had sent her son john without guidance on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney for a visit to his grandparents, but the flight was diverted to Melbourne due to bad weather.

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Virgin Australia staff tried to find rooms for the passengers at nearby hotels before finally setting the boy in the conference room of the lounge of an airport with two other children, News.com.au reported.

According to the outlet, the staff had struggled to find vacant rooms of the hotel due to an ongoing Grand Prix in Melbourne.

Virgin Australia later apologized for “a breakdown in communication” between the air carrier and John’s mother.
(iStock)

Meredith added that they were only at the date of the flight, unscheduled stop after checking in a flight-tracking app, and the see of the aircraft was diverted to Melbourne. Her parents, meanwhile, were waiting at the Sydney airport to meet John.

“I came in contact with them and told them, and they went to the counter and got it confirmed,” Meredith told News.com.au.

She claims that the society also told her parents that the carrier would call John’s updated flight information that the airline provided at 2:30 pm

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Meredith, but was not informed that her son would be placed in an airport lounge until his flight departed at 10 pm

“It’s not so much about where he was staying, you may not know where your child is 100 percent of the time,” Meredith said.

“He was happy, he is a pretty happy-go-lucky child, but he just had a heart surgery last month, and I would never have allowed him to sleep on the floor of an airport,” she added.

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Now, Meredith says that she wants to Virgin Australia’s change of policy in respect of unaccompanied minors, so that this kind of things “not happen again” — specifically, she wants the airline to call both the parties in the departure and arrival cities, as well as a parent or guardian, and guardians with an emergency hotline telephone number.

Virgin has now apologised for the incident, but the carrier is not immediately available to confirm to Fox News or the implementation of changes is the policy on unaccompanied minors.

“In times of a fault, we will do our best for guests on other flights and / or accommodation when their flights are diverted,” said the Virgin spokesman said in a statement on the News.com.au.

“We take the utmost care in the transport of unaccompanied minors and aim to ensure their nominated carers are aware of all developments that occur. In this case, our ground crew support to the child and made him as comfortable as possible in a room at our Melbourne Airport Lounge ahead of his flight the following morning.

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“We apologize for any break in the communication between our team and the child’s guardian in the course of the evening.”

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