Cape Coral teens told they can't fly without adult

CREATED Dec. 23, 2013

  • Print

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Mandy Vanlue and her sons spent Monday decorating their Christmas tree and putting up Christmas lights.

It's last minute, but that's only because the boys were supposed to be spending Christmas with their Dad in the Midwest.

"This was extremely important," 15-year-old Nate Vanlue said.

"I haven't seen my dad in four years and I was really looking forward to seeing him."

But plans changed yesterday.

When the boys arrived at the Punta Gorda airport, an Allegiant Airlines employee gave them some bad news about their flight to Rockford, Illinois.

"She asked are you guys under 18? And she was like well you guys can't fly," 14-year-old Nik Vanlue said.
The teens couldn't fly because of the weather.
Allegiant Air's policy states they will "not permit anyone under the age of 18 traveling without an adult on a flight with a weather advisory."
This weekend, a big winter storm swept through the Midwest.
"It's terrible, it's like shock, we were in shock ," the boys said.
Their mom was shocked too.
Even though it's posted online, Mandy Vanlue says she wasn't aware of the policy until they got to the airport.
"They didn't tell us, nothing like that was told to me," Mandy Vanlue said.
Fox 4 did some research and found out almost all of the airlines have the same policy when it comes to flying unaccompanied minors because if a plane has to make an unexpected stop, they can't get a hotel room or make other travel arrangements.
Nik and Nate Vanlue couldn't get another flight out, so they're now spending Christmas at home.
But their mom says they are making the most of it.
"We are going to have fun, do our regular thing," Mandy Vanlue said.
Allegiant Airlines says if this happens to you, they will do their best to find another flight for your children. And if they can't, they do reimburse travelers on a "case by case basis."
The Vanlue family was not reimbursed for their two tickets because the airline says they arrived less than an hour before the flight was scheduled to depart.