'Home Alone' parents leave toddler in airport

A family flew out of an airport leaving their two-year-old boy behind and only discovered he was missing when contacted during the next leg of the trip.

The Home Alone mix-up came as Jun Parreno, his wife and two grandparents of the child, JM, were rushing across Vancouver airport between their flight from the Philippines and a connecting one on to Winnipeg.

Running late after having to unpack and repack all their luggage, “we had 10 minutes before boarding,” said Mr Parreno, who was emigrating with his family. “We were running for the gate.”

He said he thought his son was with the three other adults, who were running to the gate ahead of him, and they thought the little boy was with him.

Instead the toddler was wandering alone between a security checkpoint and the flight gates, said an Air Canada spokeswoman.

“He doesn’t speak English, so we found a Tagalog-speaking agent who has been looking after him.”

There was no boarding pass for the youngster because he did not have a separately assigned seat, so there was no indication in the airline’s computer system that someone had missed a flight, nor had there been any panicked calls from anyone on a flight missing a child, she said.

On board the Winnipeg flight the family was scattered in different parts of the plane and still did not realise the child had been left.

Air Canada staff began checking flights and “we eventually determined who his parents might be ... and the flight crew talked to them,” the spokeswoman said. “They didn’t realize until then that the baby had been left behind.

The parents were put on the phone with their little boy, and Mr Parreno was flown back to Vancouver to get him.

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