Special-needs kids stranded at the airport for 13 hours; American Airlines apologizes

American Airlines is apologizing to parents who say the carrier didn’t notify them when the cross-country flight carrying their special-needs, unaccompanied minor children home from summer camp was delayed overnight on Friday.

Nine children were returning to the Portland, Oregon, area from Camp New Friends in Charlottesville, Virginia, which welcomes kids with neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition in which tumors develop in the brain, spinal cord, nerves and skin.

When their flight was canceled, the kids – one just 8 years old – had to spend the night in the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In a statement to USA TODAY, American spokesman Ross Feinstein said, “Unfortunately, after boarding Flight 1736 from Charlotte to Portland on Friday, the flight experienced a mechanical delay that caused it to remain in Charlotte overnight. The children were kept in our dedicated unaccompanied minor room where they were kept safe and comfortable in the care of American Airlines personnel at all times. They departed to Portland on Saturday morning.”

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