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Boy, 9, apparently forgotten for flight

Boy, 9, apparently forgotten for flight
Signs for United Airlines and Continental Airlines direct passengers to ticket counters at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on May 3, 2010. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

CHICAGO, July 27 (UPI) -- A boy flying alone from San Francisco to Canada missed a connecting flight in Chicago because airline workers apparently forgot about him, his family said.

Julien Reid, 9, sat in a supervised area for children flying alone at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport watching the same two videos repeatedly for more than eight hours as he waited for his United Airlines flight to Ottawa – only to miss his connecting flight because no one came to get him, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

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The boy arrived in Chicago about 11:30 a.m. Saturday and was to board a 1:45 p.m. connecting flight that had been delayed, his mother, Genevieve Harte, told the newspaper when contacted Monday. Instead, the child arrived in Ottawa about 11 p.m.

"I thought I wasn't going to make it home. I thought I was going to have to sleep there," Reid said.

Harte said she couldn't find her son at the Ottawa airport when she went to meet the delayed flight, the Tribune said. Not knowing that his flight had left, her son again called her and told her the flight had been delayed.

"He didn't know he was being forgotten; everybody kept telling him his flight was delayed," Harte said. "Hours went by. He was completely unaware."

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Harte told the Tribune the United Airlines employees she spoke to weren't helpful.

United Airlines spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said when Reid arrived in Chicago, a worker accompanied him to the supervised area, but failed to return to get the boy for his connecting flight. She said United apologized for the incident, was investigating how it happened, refunded the $100 child care fee and offered the family an unspecified "good will gesture."

Harte said Monday United had not contacted her and denied she was offered anything.

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