(ECNS) --Virgin Atlantic Airways removed an unaccompanied minor from an aircraft minutes before departure from Shanghai, Beijing Youth Daily reported.
Mrs. Liu said her 11-year-old son planned to fly solo from Shanghai to London for a summer camp. The family booked the service with the airline in advance, and were assured that the boy would be looked after from check-in until he was picked up by a guardian at their destination.
However, after the boy was already sitting in his seat on July 9, he was told to leave the plane. Liu had to go back to the airport to pick up her son, who had been left in an office. Liu said the boy was very puzzled as to why he was forced off at the last minute.
Virgin Atlantic said the number of unaccompanied minors on the plane was more than eight, the maximum limit for a single flight. Liu's son was asked to leave because he was the last unaccompanied minor to check in.
Liu said she was promised a return-trip ticket on any Virgin Atlantic flight or a 400-Euro coupon that could be used only in foreign countries as compensation. But the family had not received a call or direct explanation from the airline since July 10.
In response to comments on the social media platform Sina Weibo, a post apparently issued by the Shanghai office of the airline said it was still investigating the case and would work to ensure that a similar situation would not happen again.
"It's very inappropriate to inform the passenger of the decision after he had already boarded," said the post.
The airline also said it offered two choices to the passenger – to take another flight the following day, or to travel business class on another airline's flight free of charge the same day, in addition to a compensation package for the delay.