Mother, 16, begs airport security to take care of daughter

  • A mother pleaded with airport security over the phone to take care of her teenage daughter.
  • Ainsley Ashton’s daughter was left overnight at Dar es Salaam airport after her flight was cancelled.
  • She was stranded at the airport for nearly 24 hours after being “forgotten” at a connecting flight.

Ainsley Ashton’s 16-year-old daughter was stranded overnight at an airport more than 3,000 miles away on her way from Africa to London.

The teenager flew unaccompanied from Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to Heathrow via Doha, Qatar, on August 28.

The flights were booked on British Airways, and the Doha-Kilimanjaro route is operated by its codeshare partner Qatar. Insider has verified itinerary from travel documents.

The flight includes a stop in Dar es Salaam in Tanazia before heading to Doha. The plane broke down and passengers had to get off. The girl told her mother and went to the transfer desk. She was told she would be placed on the next available flight, but was later told it had taken off without her. “She was forgotten,” her mother said.

Ashton told Insider that the 16-year-old arrived in Dar es Salaam at 5pm and was alone after initial exchanges with the transfer desk.

“No one spoke to her. She reported herself to the transfer desk, so they knew, and then she was abandoned. They put her in the transfer office, then packed up and left her alone at the airport.”

At 5:30 in the morning, there was only one sleeping security guard in the airport. Ashton asked his daughter to wake him up so she could talk to him on the phone. “At this point, obviously, I was like, please take care of my daughter, please take care of my daughter,” she said.

Ashton said he didn’t understand the situation other than that she was a teenager alone at the airport.

She kept calling customer service in Qatar but was told the manager would be on duty after 8am

Once she was able to speak to the manager, Ashton’s daughter was placed on the next flight to Doha and from there to Heathrow. The experience has left her daughter “traumatised” and fears it has “destroyed her confidence”.

The teenager went to Africa to volunteer for Volunteer International Headquarters, work at a school and visit an orphanage.

British Airways and Qatar did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

Source link