Airline grounds 2 teens


A Lanceston mother has warned teenage travellers to read the fine print after two young Tasmanians were recently unable to board a flight to Melbourne operated by budget airline Tiger Airways.

Gina McKenzie, of East Launceston, said her 17-year-old son and his two friends had booked and paid for tickets and arrived on time at the check-in counter at Launceston Airport, only to be told by Tiger staff that they could not board the flight without signed parental consent.

“They failed to read the bit that said children between 14 and 18 have to have a form signed by a parent or guardian to board the plane,” Mrs McKenzie said.

“Luckily I didn’t just drop my son off and drive away and was able to sign the form.

“The two others were left standing at the airport. They lost their flight and couldn’t get on another airline.”

Mrs McKenzie said the pair “would have been better off flushing their money down the toilet”.

Tiger Airways spokesman Matthew Hobbs said the policy was clearly displayed on the company’s Web site and explanations were also available via the company’s call centre.

He said that the policy was in place for insurance purposes, and that parents or guardians must be present with people aged under 18 at the time of check-in.