A mother from Raleigh, North Carolina arranged for her son to take a flight to Sweden by himself on Sunday and thought he'd be okay. She paid the fee to have someone from United Airlines supervise the unaccompanied minor, and she thought he was in good hands. But then, her son called her from his layover – he was put on a plane to Germany, more than 800 miles away from his intended destination.
"@United @SAS my son is in the wrong plane!!! EWR you put him on a plane to Germany!!!!" Brenda Berg tweeted frantically at the two airlines.
He was first on a United Airlines flight from Raleigh to Newark, where he had a layover. Once in Newark, a United Airlines employee was supposed to walk him to his gate to board the last leg of his trip.
Berg's son was walked to the gate – but his flight had been moved to another one. The attendant apparently did not know his flight was moved, and let the boy get on the new plane at the gate. This flight was heading to Düsseldorf, Germany.
Berg's son boarded the plane, then realized every traveler's worst nightmare – he got on the wrong flight. "Update - they are letting him off the plane and NO ONE has called me!" Berg tweeted, letting her Twitter followers know what was happening every step of the way during the travel fiasco.
Berg continued to tweet to United Airlines in outrage. She also called the airline, and said she was left on hold for well over an hour. "He is in the terminal. No @united person in sight. No answer," she wrote.
United Airlines confirmed to CBS News that an employee was in Newark Airport with the boy and walked him to his original gate, where his Scandinavian flight was supposed to be – instead, a Eurowings flight was there.
The child boarded the Eurowings flight that occupied the gate, and that airline is investigating how he got on the plane without a boarding pass. That plane never took off, United confirmed.
United also said they refunded Berg for the $150 unaccompanied minor fee that she paid, and that they plan to reach out to the family again on Wednesday.
Berg said while she was on the phone with United during her son's travel disaster, they blamed Scandinavian Airlines. "But I paid United," she noted in a tweet. After an hour and 45 minutes on hold with United, Berg said an employee told her, "I can't promise anyone will call you back."
The mom said her son fended for himself in Newark Airport. He was fine and got himself food. "Thanks @United for STILL not caring for our child even though you forced us to pay your fee," she tweeted.
Eventually, her son was put on a flight to Stockholm – but had an international transfer in Denmark, Berg said. "This is not what we wanted," she tweeted. "I have been up all night thinking about the fact that he was one call button away from landing in Germany without being on the manifest! They were taxiing on the runway!"
Later, Berg said her prayers were finally answered. Her son arrived in Sweden, exhausted, and called her husband from bagged claim. He would soon be with his grandparents there, then off to camp.
In written statment to CBS News, United Airlines says the safety and well-being of all of their customers is their top priority and they had been in contact with the boy's family to confirm his safety and apologize for the issue.
"Once Eurowings recognized that he had boarded the wrong aircraft in Newark, the plane returned to the gate - before taking off," the statement continues. "Our staff then assisted the young customer to ensure that he boarded the correct rebooked flight later that evening. We have confirmed that this young customer safely reached his destination."
Berg disputed that statement, writing one last tweet about the incident: "Our son landed 11 hrs ago and it has been 24 hrs since our last communication from @United. Apparently they are saying that they have been in regular contact and they cared for our son. Not true. We are still waiting for an apology and action plan so this doesn't happen again."
CBS News reached out to Berg and she said the family is no longer doing interviews at this time.