• The teens were left scrambling to get back home after British Airways gave away their seats.
  • They were given train tickets but they turned out to be invalid when they got to the station.
  • The parents had to send them money to buy new tickets from King's Cross.

Two teenagers landed back at Heathrow airport in London from Johannesberg after visiting their dad and were set to connect to another flight when they became embroiled in this summer's travel chaos. 

British Airways told the 15 and 16-year-old that their seats home to Edinburgh had been given away when they tried to check in on July 11 due to a booking mix-up. 

William Farquaharson, their step-father dad, said: "They weren't offered another flight and were told they could either get a voucher for a train or they could wait up to a number of days for another flight."

The parents tried to contact the airline by phone but could only reach an automated system. After trying multiple times they eventually got through to a special assistance enquiry line and were issued a digital copy of the train tickets. 

"They had never been to London or on the Underground so they didn't know how to navigate the system," he said. "We got them a taxi and had to pay £100 for them to be driven to King's Cross station." 

When they got to the station they were told the tickets were not valid. Farquharson said they send them money to buy new tickets for £100 ($118) for the 400-mile journey.

"I felt extremely frustrated and angry," Farquharson said. "The kids didn't know what was going on and were in distress and were stranded in the middle of London."

"It needs to be considered that they are ultimately young and vulnerable and don't know how to navigate their way through London." 

Airlines across the world are grappling with staff shortages and passengers are facing a series of cancelations and delays as demand for travel returns after the pandemic. 

British Airways announced earlier this month that it was canceling more than 10,000 flights this summer from London airports. It is reducing its summer schedule by about 13% amid global travel chaos.

A British Airways spokesperson said: "We apologised to our customers for the disruption to their journey and offered alternative transport via train to get them to their destination on the same day."

Read the original article on Business Insider