ChicagoFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:00 am

Miami Minor Buys Ticket, Flies To Cuba

Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:40 am

Interesting story
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/15616721.htm

Synopsis:
14-yr old who lived in the US for 6 years runs away from father in Miami, back to his mother in Cuba.

Questions for this forum:
- He boards AA flight to Bahamas w/no questions asked despite being underage, because apparently the agent did not do the math while checking ID (admittedly an easy mistake to make). Does it often happen?
- He buys that ticket and a later ticket to Cuba with father's credit card. Is it really possible to use a US-issued card to travel to Cuba despite the embargo?

Random non-aviation observations:
- Kid had weird reasons (as kids do) for his flight. School elections and a "very special" girl.
- Father thinks the son will miss material things ("There is no Pizza Hut or Dolphin Mall there,'' Diaz said.) but no mention of their good time together... seems like they did not have the best of relationships!
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24595
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: Miami Minor Buys Ticket, Flies To Cuba

Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:44 am

Quoting ChicagoFlyer (Thread starter):
- He buys that ticket and a later ticket to Cuba with father's credit card. Is it really possible to use a US-issued card to travel to Cuba despite the embargo?

Yes, as long as you were flying a non-Cuban airline.
a.
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:40 am

RE: Miami Minor Buys Ticket, Flies To Cuba

Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:17 am

Quoting ChicagoFlyer (Thread starter):

- He boards AA flight to Bahamas w/no questions asked despite being underage, because apparently the agent did not do the math while checking ID (admittedly an easy mistake to make). Does it often happen?

I'm not suprised it happened. First of all, gate and ticket agents seem very bad at handling abnormal situations. When they still used to ask "Has your luggage been with you since you packed it," and "Has anyone asked you to place anything in your bag," an FAA agent answered "No" and "Yes", respectivley. The ticket agent didn't take the action she was supposed to.

I doubt the ticket agent even looked at the DOB. She probably compared the picture to the kid and the name to the name he gave her and that was that. When you're checking IDs seventy times a day for five years, you're going to make mistakes.

Quoting ChicagoFlyer (Thread starter):
- He buys that ticket and a later ticket to Cuba with father's credit card. Is it really possible to use a US-issued card to travel to Cuba despite the embargo?

Like MAH4546, no questions would be raised if it was a non-Cuban carrier. But, on top of that, he probably could not use his credit card from Cuba. So "American Airlines - Nassau Airport" would go through the credit card company's computer, "American Airlines - Havana Airport" would not.

I also wonder how difficult it will be to bring him home. I know it's often difficult to get minors back from foregin countries.

AAndrew