Change Of Plans

Change Of Plans

Facebook/ Chad Gray

It was one of the longest nights of Jennifer Ignash and Chad Gray’s lives. The couple’s children were aboard a flight from Iowa. They were heading back after visiting their grandparents. Their trip didn’t exactly go the way they expected, and to make matters worse, the airline had kept the parents in the dark the entire time. Chad grew anxious over the news he had just gotten regarding Carter, his nine-year-old son.

Happily Divorced

Happily Divorced

Facebook/ Chad Gray

Although Chad and Jennifer were divorced, the family remained connected. The kids adored Chad’s new wife. And Chad and Jennifer did their best to stay cordial towards each other for the well-being of their children. But there was one drawback for this happy family. Some of them lived apart.

Long Distance Family

Long Distance Family

Facebook/ Chad Gray

Chad’s parents lived pretty far away. He and his ex, Jennifer, lived in Florida. But his parents lived in Iowa. So, the kids rarely got the chance to see their grandparents. This was difficult for the children since they loved Chad’s parents and missed them a lot. The kids decided to beg their dad to allow them to visit their grandparents for the holidays. But, there was one tiny issue with their humongous request.

Scheduling Conflict

Scheduling Conflict

Facebook/ Chad Gray

When Chad checked his schedule, he realized that the holidays coincided with one of the busiest times for him at work. He had a bunch of meetings and a number of deadlines he simply couldn’t brush off. Taking his kids to Iowa for the summer would have been impossible. Then, he came up with a crazy idea. And the more he thought about it, the more he became convinced that it would work.

All By Themselves

All By Themselves

Desert Cart

After discussing it with Jennifer, Chad decided to allow the kids to travel on their own. This would be the first time they’d flown all by themselves. This made everyone involved a little nervous. However, Chad put up an emotional front, and wished them well as he took them to the airport and watched them get on their flight. He hoped his children would be okay. Then he got a call.

They Made It

They Made It

Facebook/ Chad Gray

Chad anxiously answered his phone and was relieved to hear his son’s voice on the other end. Carter told his dad that he had landed safely in Iowa. Then, he explained to him that he had been nervous and excited throughout the whole flight. But Carter and Etta were okay and happy. It’s too bad that the flight home was the exact opposite.

Unsettling Stop

Unsettling Stop

Facebook/ Jenn Ignash

After saying goodbye to their grandparents, Carter and Etta got on the plane and headed back to Florida. But then, something went wrong. Meanwhile, Chad used an app to monitor his children’s flight. Then, he saw the plane deviate. It started to circle for about forty-five minutes, and then it landed in Atlanta. He wasn’t sure what was going on, and he had no way of contacting his kids. And the night only got worse from there.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Facebook/ Jenn Ignash

Carter kept his little sister calm as they got off the plane. He told her that they’d be back in the air soon, and that this was just a tiny layover. They’d be back home with their dad in less than no time. As Carter said this to Etta, he tried to believe it himself. But the situation was proving to be way too overwhelming for the nine-year-old. Meanwhile, in Florida, Chad was growing anxious. And he had every right to be.

No Way To Reach Them

No Way To Reach Them

Facebook// Chad Gray

Chad and Jennifer never wanted to give their kids cell phones. Now, Chad was starting to regret that decision. He just wanted to speak to Carter to see if they were both okay. But not knowing what had happened to them was the worst. Of course, Carter also wanted to get in touch with his dad, particularly when the airline broke some bad news to him.

Canceled Flight

Canceled Flight

Facebook/ Chad Gray

Carter and Etta were told that their flight had been canceled due to bad weather. They were also taken to a hotel along with four other kids, who were unaccompanied. To make things worse, Carter was going to be sharing a bed with another boy who was five years older than him. The plane’s cabin crew would also be staying in the hotel room with them. So, Carter and Etta were going to have a very difficult night.

Back On Track

Back On Track

Facebook/ Jenn Ignash

By midnight, Carter borrowed a phone from another kid in the hotel room. So, he sent his father a text and told him what was happening. Chad was angry. The airline never reached out to him. But at least his children were okay. After a restless night, the kids were taken back to the airport, and they were very happy about that. They received a McDonald’s breakfast meal voucher. And then, they boarded the plane once again.

They Had To Pay

They Had To Pay

Facebook/ Chad Gray

Chad was ecstatic about seeing his son and daughter at the airport again. He grabbed them and hugged them tightly as he cried with relief. Carter told him how they were given Rice Krispie treats for dinner, and that he had to share a bed with a boy who was older than him. Chad was so upset that he wanted the airline to pay for their mistakes. He was just about ready to make an overly dramatic scene. But then, the airline did something that left him speechless.

Never Happened

Never Happened

Facebook/ Chad Gray

The airline denied Carter’s accusations. They claimed that the kids had been given meals, and that Carter and Etta had spoken to their mother before being taken to the hotel. But even if the children had managed to contact Jennifer, why wouldn’t the airline relay this message to the parents directly? Why would they choose to have a seven and nine-year-old explain to their parents what had happened? Chad was so upset that he decided to vent on social media.

Story Goes Viral

Story Goes Viral

Facebook/ Chad Gray

The story went viral as soon as Chad posted the name of the airline and explained what they’d done wrong. Soon, newsrooms across the country started to cover the story. People were disgusted by the way that the airline had treated the children. The airline stuck to their story that they didn’t do anything wrong. Chad wanted them to own up to their mistake. But did they?

Did Justice Prevail?

Did Justice Prevail?

YouTube/ NBC News

The airline received a proverbial slap on the wrist from social media. But the airline never compensated the family for their distress, and no action was taken against them either. Meanwhile, in the weeks that followed, Carter suffered from night terrors. In the end, Chad and Jennifer stated that they’ll never use that airline ever again. And to be honest, no one else should either.

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