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Furious parents say they were left in the dark by Frontier Airlines after their young children were taken to a hotel room by a staff member when their flight was diverted to another state

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 8/9/2018 Hannah Parry
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Two parents are furious after their two unaccompanied children, aged seven and nine, were taken to a hotel room by an airline employee without telling them after bad weather diverted their Frontier flight.

Carter Gray, nine, and Etta Gray, seven, were on a flight from Des Moines, Iowa, to Orlando International Airport on July 22 where they were due to meet their mother, Jennifer Ignash.

The children were onboard Frontier flight 1756 which was due to arrive in Orlando at 10.46pm but after the aircraft was forced to circle for 45 minutes due to severe weather, before being diverted to Atlanta.

a man holding a sign: Chad Gray is furious that his unaccompanied children, aged seven and nine, were taken a hotel room by an airline employee without telling him after bad weather diverted their Frontier flight © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Chad Gray is furious that his unaccompanied children, aged seven and nine, were taken a hotel room by an airline employee without telling him after bad weather diverted their Frontier flight

After the children failed to arrive Jennifer says she couldn't contact her children or airline staff to find out what happened.

The first the panicked parents heard from their children was when Carter managed to borrow another child's cellphone to call his father Chad Gray after midnight on July 23.

The parents say their kids were taken to hotel where they were placed in separate rooms with older children they did not know. During that time, Chad says all his kids were offered was water and Rice Krispies treats.

'At least give them some Chick-fil-A,' their dad told the Sun Sentinel.

The kids were eventually given a voucher for breakfast at McDonald's the following morning, and took a flight that landed in Orlando about 1pm. 

Chad, 42, said the whole ordeal was chaotic and had left his children upset and suffering nightmares.

a couple of people on a beach: Carter Gray, nine, and Etta Gray, seven, were on a flight from Des Moines, Iowa, to Orlando International Airport on July 22

Carter Gray, nine, and Etta Gray, seven, were on a flight from Des Moines, Iowa, to Orlando International Airport on July 22
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

'No supervisor tried to call us, no phone calls, no emails, nothing like that ever took place,' he said during an appearance on the Today show on Thursday.

'We were really in the dark.'

Gray was also concerned that his daughter was not in a booster seat during the car ride from the airport to the hotel, something required by law, and says the were not properly supervised in the hotel rooms.

'I think there needs to be set policies and procedures put in place,' he said. 'I think they probably escaped this incident with very little damage, but that may not be the case if it happens again.'

He said that staff should have been 'overly protective of these children' - making sure that the kids were comfortable and that the parents were aware of what was happening.

Chad said that this was the first - and would likely be the last - time his children had flown unaccompanied. And he had a warning for other parents thinking of putting their children on flights by themselves.

a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway: A spokesman for Frontier claimed that the children were in contact with their parents and were attended to 'at all times' by a Frontier supervisor © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A spokesman for Frontier claimed that the children were in contact with their parents and were attended to 'at all times' by a Frontier supervisor

'Parents definitely need to do a little more research about this, and worry about it more.

'Never in our wildest dreams did we think this would happen. It was really a disaster.' 

Atlanta aviation attorney Alan Armstrong also questioned why the pilot would fly to Atlanta when he knew it was closed.

A spokesman for Frontier claimed that the children were in contact with their parents and were attended to 'at all times' by a Frontier supervisor. He added that they were provided food during the unexpected stopover. 

'We understand how an unexpected delay caused by weather can be stressful for a parent and our goal is to help passengers get to their destinations as quickly and safely as possible,' they said in a statement.  

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