Vegetarian child stranded in airport, fed burgers

Julien Reid, at only nine years old, is used to air travel. He routinely flies between his parents in Ottawa, and San Francisco, so he’s seen it all … well, he has now. Reid was forgotten in a children’s waiting room in Chicago, where he spent eight hours waiting and hoping to be discovered.

According to the Ottawa Citizen:

He was in a “tiny, little room cramped with kids,” where they played the same video on a loop all day, he said. The only food he’d been given was McDonald’s, a less than satisfactory option for a vegetarian like him. He said he and the other children were yelled at “to stop being kids.”

Meanwhile, the flight left without Reid. How did it happen? Among the many calls made to find out what was happening, Reid’s mother, Genevieve Harte, spoke with the United Airlines attendant tasked with keeping an eye on the kids. According to the Citizen, “It was this frazzled attendant who let it slip, Harte said, that no one had come to fetch Julien to put him on his flight.”

Citing something of an airline “omerta” policy, Harte, who suspects her son was bumped from a crowded flight, told the citizen: “It’s a lot easier to have a kid that’s not going to say anything than an adult who has a business meeting that’s going to scream at you in front of everybody.”

United said it’s going to give Harte “a refund for the childcare fee and an undisclosed goodwill gesture.”

[photo by FHKE via Flickr]