American Airlines rebooked a mom on a flight home that would have forced her to leave her 7- and 8-year-old sons behind for days in NYC

A montage of Sarah Ripmaster and her two sons, next to an American Airlines flight.
Sarah Ripmaster and her two sons during their travel adventure.Sarah Ripmaster/Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
  • Sarah Ripmaster woke up to an email saying her flight had changed but her sons weren't included.

  • American Airlines didn't add her 7- and 8-year-old boys to her new flight from LaGuardia airport.

  • Airline wanted to put the boys on a Tuesday flight but they would have been left alone in New York.

A mother of two boys, ages seven and eight, woke up Saturday morning thinking she'd be heading home.

But then an email from American Airlines changed everything.

Sarah Ripmaster was supposed to fly back home from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Chicago O'Hare International Airport Saturday, until she realized that American had rebooked her, but not her kids.

Ripmaster said the first thing she felt when she realized what had happened was fear.

"I woke up in New York City yesterday to a notice that our flight to ORD had been cancelled due to lack of crew. I had a different record locator than my boys, but they were linked together in the system," Ripmaster, who works for a social media technology platform, told Insider.

She said she was rebooked to leave later Saturday, but "the system had unlinked my boys' reservation (from mine) and said the next flight they could get them on was Tuesday out of LGA."

Ripmaster then spent hours on the phone with customer service trying to fix the frustrating situation. "When I did reach someone, the American Airlines woman I spoke to was amazing and helpful – but the process is broken," she said.

Ripmaster's two sons.
Ripmaster's two sons aged 8 and 7.Sarah Ripmaster

Ripmaster and her boys finally were rebooked to fly together through Nashville, where they were Sunday at the time of her discussion with Insider. She said they were flying back home, to Chicago, later in the day, although that flight was delayed.

Ripmaster said she is an Executive Platinum member, and so she was most surprised that she wasn't offered any form of compensation. "I'm very frustrated, but mostly wonder what people that don't have resources do in this situation."

She said thankfully she was able to get a hotel and meals. "We are okay, but what about so many others who don't have these resources to bounce back?"

American Airlines didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider