Flying as an unaccompanied minor can be daunting and intimidating. Because of this, airlines require guardians to accompany their children to and from airport gates when they are flying to visit other parents or family members, go to summer camp, experience holidays, and more.
Jessie Lorenz has accompanied her daughter to the airport gate countless times so she can fly to see her father in another state. As a blind woman, Jessie has previously received the airline assistance she needs to get her daughter safely to her gate.
However, the airline started resisting Jessie’s requests when she tried to accompany her daughter, being told by the airline that assistance could only be given to passengers with flight tickets, as per their “contract.” But parents have the right to walk their child to the gate, and airlines are required to aid people with disabilities so they can safely navigate the airport.
Jessie reached out to CREEC who contacted the airline and discovered they had not properly trained their assistants to know and comply with the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) rules and regulations for supporting a disabled parent escorting their child while traveling. Because of CREEC’s intervention, the airline agreed to conduct training, and Jessie now has the tools she needs to ensure an airline’s compliance the next time she escorts her daughter.
Working with CREEC does not always end up in litigation, and people know that they can rely on CREEC to listen to their concerns and work together to find a solution.
Jessie says about the situation and on working with CREEC: “I want to be able to parent my kid and make sure she can see her dad, and I should not have to pay an extra fee or raise my blood pressure or fight with someone in order to be a good parent. So it’s pretty awesome there’s people (like CREEC) who can lighten the burden a bit.”