Lufthansa stranded my 16-year-old son in Detroit

Carolina Smith/Shutterstock
Carolina Smith/Shutterstock
It’s something out of every mother’s worst nightmare: Your child is stranded at the airport and won’t be able to fly home unless he forks over thousands of dollars for a new ticket.

That nightmare came true for Gloria Castillo-Ibrahim and her 16-year-old son, Kareem Amir Gharib, recently. They’re inexperienced air travelers, but in a way, nothing could have prepared them for the trouble they experienced.

Castillo-Ibrahim wants me to help her fix this problem, but I’m not really sure if I can, or if I should. Your thoughts on this case would be helpful.

The problem began when Castillo-Ibrahim’s husband decided to surprise her son for Christmas by booking two roundtrip tickets from Cairo to Detroit on Lufthansa’s website.
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Too much luggage + too short connection = “total nightmare” flight on Delta

detroitVivian Rouleau missed her connecting flight to Akron, Ohio, because of baggage. Not hers, but everyone else’s. Worse, her airline didn’t seem to care about the resulting connection problem, even though it seemed to be entirely preventable.

Rouleau’s story, and others like it, suggest the new $15 fees for the first checked bag aren’t just a commercial failure (as I’ve noted in the past, there can be a negative correlation between the fees and an airline’s profitability) but they also have all the makings of a disaster, from an operational perspective.

Consider what happened on Rouleau’s flight.
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