The Galione Law Firm

Can premises liability be raised for children lost in an airport?

For some families, sending younger people on flights alone is a normal occurrence. Many of these families trust airline employees and airport staff to help their child enter and exit the plane safely. But what happens in a Florida airport when an unaccompanied minor flyer gets lost? Is there a premises liability issue for the airport, or could the airline charged with caring for the child be held responsible? According to legal precedents, lawsuits for such cases are almost nonexistent.

When children between 5 and 12 travel without supervision, they are considered "unaccompanied minors" by airlines. In some cases, a fee of up to $150 will apply for these flyers. This is to compensate for the minor's special care, such as seeing them onto the plane, meeting them when it lands and helping them make connections.

But what happens when things don't go according to plan?  There are multiple examples of this happening, although children are typically found after a short search. In these cases, airlines generally gave parents a voucher as an apology. When children are not hurt as a result of an airline's negligence, there are not typically grounds to sue for any damages.

Despite the prevalence of minors traveling via plane there are no official rules and regulations on the treatment of these children according to the FAA, TSA and DOT. As such, parents should take precautions to help their children be prepared in case they get disconnected from their airline supervisor, such as providing a mobile phone. Those whose children have been injured in an airport or due to airline staff may have a negligence or premises liability case. Speaking with a Florida lawyer is the best way to understand options should this arise.

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The Galione Law Firm
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Gainesville, FL 32607

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