Virgin Atlantic Removes 11-Year-Old Boy From His Seat

July 28, 2017 Updated: July 28, 2017

An unaccompanied 11-year-old boy was removed from his seat on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Shanghai to London because the flight had too many minors.

The 11-year-old boy was in his seat and on his way to a summer camp in Britain when he was told he had to leave because his category had been overbooked, reported The Telegraph. 

Economy class seats on board a Boeing 787-9       (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Economy class seats on board a Boeing 787-9 (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

“More than 10 staff, including the captain and flight attendants, came over and demanded him to get off the plane,” the family lawyer, Ye Wenan told The Telegraph. 

“My son was clearly scared,” Mrs. Lui told the Telegraph, “he cried for long hours and woke up with nightmares.” 

However, a Virgin Atlantic representative said the boy’s removal was “made with the customer’s well-being in mind, and our airport team looked after the child until their parents returned to the airport.”

The flight had booked too many unaccompanied minors, including the boy’s friend who was attending the same summer camp. As a result, the flight did not have enough staff to ensure the unaccompanied minor’s safety if an incident should arise.

“Since the two kids were traveling without any adults, we checked repeatedly with Virgin Atlantic to make sure the crew members can take care of them,” said Mrs. Liu.

The airline apologized to the family. They offered  three complimentary round-trip tickets to London, however, Mrs. Liu called them useless.

“Three free round trip tickets are useless for us,” she said. “My husband and I are busy with work every day. We definitely have no time for London.”

The boy or his guardians should have been offered 600 euros ($701) in cash instead according to a European Union regulation 261/2004.