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Flight mix-up temporarily misplaces child

December 21, 2011 8:33:05 PM PST
A flight mix-up left a local family desperate to find a 9-year-old girl.

The girl boarded a plane in Tennessee to visit her grandparents for the holidays, but when the flight arrived at LaGuardia she wasn't on it.

Chloe Boyce is OK, playing with her dolls at her grandmother's house in Connecticut.

"I never want to have that feeling again, for 5 minutes, or minutes," said Maryann Dishuk, Chloe's grandmother.

Her grandmother won't forget the feeling she had on Tuesday when she thought her 9-year-old granddaughter was missing.

"My heart sunk," Dishuk said.

Chloe was traveling alone on Southwest Airlines, heading from Nashville to LaGuardia Airport.

The flight had planned stops in Columbus and Baltimore.

But suddenly because of the bad weather in the Midwest, her flight plan changed.

Eventually, a southwest flight attendant told her she had to get off the plane in Baltimore.

"Holy cow, I'm not supposed to get off here, I'm supposed to get off at LaGuardia," Chloe Boyce said.

She got off, but no one with the airline told her mom.

So, when she didn't show in New York, well that's when grandma and mom back in Tennessee began to worry, because for about an hour no one knew where Chloe was.

It was a long, excruciating hour for the family as Southwest officials didn't seem to know where Chloe was.

"It was like the scariest moment of my life to think that they didn't know where she was," said Elena Kerr, Chloe's mother. It turns out they had booked the 9-year-old on another flight without telling her family.

In a statement, a spokesman for the airline said, "Our unaccompanied minor policy does not include the contacting of guardians when a flight is delayed or rerouted but we typically do our best to keep guardians notified."

Southwest has apologized to the family and they say they are investigating.

"We're just happy she's home. She's here," Dishuk said.

Chloe is safe and sound at her grandmother's house for Christmas.

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