The family of a 10-year-old Valley Center boy traveling as an “unaccompanied minor” is calling out Frontier Airlines for keeping them in the dark while his flight was diverted to Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve.
Adrian Opsahl was returning home after visiting his dad in Denver, but the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Las Vegas due to a passenger’s medical condition.
“Then they found out they [San Diego] had fog, so they were deciding what to do and that took like an hour and thirty minutes” said Adrian.
The problem, according to the family, is they were never notified. They say they were never called on any of the numbers given to the airline in case of an emergency and only realized why the plane was delayed when Adrian turned on his cell phone and called them from his seat.
“We didn’t know what was going on, was he coming, going, on the plane, wandering around the airport, it was a mess” said Eden Yaege, the boy’s aunt.
To make matters worse, they were given only two options, according to Yaege. The boy could return to Denver or they could have someone pick him up in Las Vegas within 30 minutes or he’d be handed over to Child Protective Services.
“I described that that will not be happening to my nephew, under no circumstances is he to be sent to CPS and she hung up on me” said Yaege, referring to a conversation with a Frontier Airlines gate agent in Las Vegas. “If we had knowledge of it, then anybody we knew probably could’ve made it there in that time period. So that’s what was extra frustrating, if they’d communicated with us, none of this would’ve happened.”
Adrian was flown back to Denver, against the family’s wishes and without their consent, according to Yaege and was put on a flight to San Diego on New Year’s Day.
“If this is part of their policy, it needs to be changed because I can’t imagine other families going through this” said Yaege.
A phone message left at the Frontier Airlines media relations department was not returned Monday and an email was returned with an automatic “out of the office” reply.