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What we leave behind

A family immigrating to Canada from the Philippines, leaves their 23-month-old son behind at Vancouver Airport.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - An immigrant family accidentally left a 23-month boy in the Vancouver airport and learned he was missing only when contacted during the next leg of the trip.

Jun Parreno, the boy's father, told The Vancouver Sun the mix-up occurred Monday as he, his wife and two grandparents of the child, J.M., were scrambling between their arrival in Canada and a connecting flight to Winnipeg on Air Canada.

Running late after having to unpack and repack all their luggage, "we had 10 minutes before boarding," said Parreno, who was emigrating with his family from the Philippines. "We were running for the gate."

He said he thought his son was with the three other adults, who were running to the gate ahead of him, and they thought the little boy was with him.

A very dangerous thing when caring for children- Assume things.

Fortunately there was a happy ending.

Instead, in a scenario similar to the movie "Home Alone," the toddler was wandering alone between a security checkpoint and the flight gates, said Angela Mah, an Air Canada representative.

*****

The parents were put into telephone contact with the little boy, and Parreno was put on another Air Canada plane to return to Vancouver to get him after the family's flight arrived in Winnipeg with the airline covering the cost of the two additional flights, she said.

Parreno had tears in his eyes when he returned to Winnipeg holding his son.

"I am relieved everything is OK ... but I was shocked," he said. "The staff at Air Canada took good care of him."

Air Canada cared better for your son than you did Mr. Parreno. If this happened in the US, you and your family may find yourselves being deported only days after immigrated here.


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Comments (5)

If this happened in the US,... (Below threshold)
Roy:

If this happened in the US, with our airlines they'd be SOL, and a lot poorer having to actually buy the tickets to fly back and forth.

You are being pretty hard o... (Below threshold)
Brian The Adequate:

You are being pretty hard on a family that made a mistake that anyone could make.

Last summer in San Francisc... (Below threshold)

Last summer in San Francisco, hubby and I left the car seat at security. Each thought the other had it. We didn't leave our child in the airport. How on earth could those people have actually taken off without the child? If I didn't have my child, I would have gotten off the plane, missing the flight, rather than miss my child!

"You are being pretty h... (Below threshold)
marc:

"You are being pretty hard on a family that made a mistake that anyone could make."

I was going to reply no anyone couldn't, but on second thought that's far from true.

Brian The Adequate, you... display the extreme lack of common sense and attention to detail that make you, and this occurrence, one in a million.

I can see getting onto the ... (Below threshold)
ClobberGirl:

I can see getting onto the plane with both groups of adults thinking the other group had the child. That's an understandable (if still scary) mistake. But I can't fathom how they actually managed to take off and make the entire flight without noticing the child was missing. Even if it was a very big plane, a full flight and they were sitting far away from each other, didn't they touch base with each other when they got on the plane? Wouldn't the adult who had the child's diaper bag want to see to it that the adult who was presumably sitting with the child had it?

The Parrenos are extremely lucky that it was the airport staff who found their child wandering around and not some sicko, and even luckier that the airline was so nice to them about it and footed the bill for the fiasco.




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