A nine-year-old boy was forced to spend the night in a Melbourne Airport storeroom after his flight was diverted because of bad weather!

A Queensland mother is now demanding answers after she says she wasn’t informed her son was spending the night sleeping at the airport.

Virgin Australia has apologised for a “breakdown in communication” after the boy, who was flying as an unaccompanied minor to Sydney from Brisbane to visit his grandparents, slept in a room near the airline’s lounge with two other children.

However, the airline says they “communicated regularly” with the child’s nominated guardian – understood to be his grandparents – during the night.

The boy and the two other unaccompanied minors were given pillows and blankets and slept in the room near the Virgin Australia lounge as hotels in Melbourne were full due to the Grand Prix.

His mother claims the family was not contacted by Virgin Australia and did not know where John had spent the night. The family is now demanding answers.

Share your comments below

  • They would have contacted the nominated contact person. Perhaps they should have put themselves first. I can’t imagine the grandparents didn’t pass the message on though


  • Hotels are often booked out in advance when there is big events on. There wasn’t only Formula One cars competing there was the Supercars as well. They also encourage a lot of people to attend and need accommodation. I don’t know if there was other events on in Melbourne at the same time. In Adelaide there is often other events that clash with the Supercars Championship. There is problems with accommodation there too. Some stay in hotels an hour or more travel time from the location of the event. Some hire apartments every year well in advance ready for the next year from which they can watch the event. I personally know of one group who do that.


  • Luckily for the airline the kids didn’t decide to open the boxes in the storeroom! I would have thought the lounge a more appropriate place to put the children. A bit more comfortable than a store room. I don’t see an issue with them contacting the grandparents as they were the ones expecting the child. The grandparents should then be responsible for notifying the parents. As annoying as it is all 3 kids were well looked after and made it to their destinations


  • If they didn’t know through the night that is unacceptable but the kids seemed well cared for and safe and that’s the most important thing.


  • I understand that they are upset by the whole thing but the kids looked like they had fun sleeping in a fort


  • I understand the parents would have loved to be informed. So the airline says they “communicated regularly” with the child’s nominated guardian -understood to be his grandparents- is this based on their assumption ? Did they even have the contact details of the parents ?


  • I would be demanding answers from everyone!


  • I guess he grandparents were nominated as guardians and should’ve communicated with the parents too. I just hope they were supervised


  • There wasn’t much else the airline could do however I would have wanted to be contacted as the parents, rather than the grandparents.


  • What else was the airline going to do? Hotels were booked out due to the Grand Prix. And it sounds like they were keeping an eye on the children. Probably not the best situation but they did call the grandparents


  • If this is true, it’s not great – were the kids supervised?


  • The airline contacted the grandparents. I think the mother should more upset with them than with the airline. :-)


  • I guess, sadly this is to be expected if you put your child on a plane by themself. If they’re unaccompanied and a flight is diverted or delayed, there’s not much else to do. It’s put me off placing unsupervised kids on planes. And what would the parents have done if they had been notified? Complain sooner? I’m curious as to whether the grandparents were in fact informed of the goings on, surely they would have contacted the parents about the situation


  • At least they weren’t wandering the streets somewhere. Why didn’t the grandparents let the parents know?


  • There must of been a hotel or motel they could have stayed in,l find this hard to believe even if the Grand Prix was on!


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