Spirit Airlines says it put unaccompanied child on wrong flight to wrong city

An airline spokesman said an internal investigation was underway to determine how the child ended up on the wrong flight.

An unaccompanied child was mistakenly placed on the wrong Spirit Airlines flight this week as airlines prepared for record-breaking holiday traffic.

The child was en route from Philadelphia to Fort Myers but was “incorrectly boarded” Thursday on a flight to Orlando, a city more than 100 miles away, the airline confirmed in a statement.

Spirit spokesman Thomas Fletcher said in an email that the child was always under the supervision of an airline employee and that as soon as the airline discovered the error, it took “immediate steps” to reestablish ties with the family.

“We take the safety and responsibility of transporting all of our guests seriously and are conducting an internal investigation,” Fletcher said. “We apologize to the family for this experience.”

More: Will the weather put a damper on your Christmas travel plans? Here’s what you should know.

WINK News, a local television station in Fort Myers, reported that the child was a 6-year-old who was traveling to visit his grandmother, Maria Ramos, who told the station it was one of the scariest ordeals she has ever faced have gone through.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg warned travelers last month of a potentially record-breaking leisure travel season. Bad weather is threatening the plans of millions of Americans this week as snow and rain fall across the middle of the country.

Zachary Schermele is a breaking news and education reporter for USA TODAY. You can reach him by email at [email protected]. Follow him on X at @ZachSchermele.