And their parents want answers. That’s what the headline said.


I’m of two minds on this myself neither of which include the parents questioning the government or the airline.

1) What resourceful kids! The girl decided she wanted to go to use her money to fly. She’d never done it before. She wanted to try something new. Enlisted her brother and a friend to go with her. Kids travel unaccompanied all the time (hell, my oldest son does it at least twice a year). They weren’t hurt, just a little spooked when they flew into the wrong airport.

2) As a parent who believes in giving my kids a long leash, I’m bothered by the fact that these kids didn’t bother to alert their parents. Is it because they knew they’d be told no? Is it because they didn’t think about it? Either way, they need to understand the responsibility of freedom. Meaning: if you want more freedom, you become responsible for making sure your parents are aware of where you are and coming in the house on time.

I know there will be lots of people blaming the airline employees for not asking questions and not stopping the kids from traveling without parental permission. But it’s not the airline’s fault. It’s not the regulator’s fault. This comes down to kids pushing the boundaries…perhaps a little too far for their parents’ liking.

Without knowing more about the kids or the families, I’ll say that passing the responsibility off to the airline to “ask questions” teaches the kids that they can do what they want, and there will be no consequences. And there should definitely be consequences. The worst thing these parents could do is sue the airline for some perceived negligence. Instead, the parents should talk to their kids about why what they did was wrong, the responsibility of freedom and lay down some ground rules for the next time the kids get the itch to travel. They were all old enough, the only problem is that they didn’t ask permission.

What do you think?