HOUSTON (AP) – The parents of two young girls who were each placed on wrong flights while flying alone over the weekend are demanding that Continental Airlines make sure such mix-ups don’t happen again.

Wendy Babineaux criticized the airline Wednesday for “total incompetence and a lack of caring” after her 8-year-old daughter, Taylor Williams, flew out of Houston on Saturday morning and ended up in Fayetteville, Ark. She was supposed to go to Charlotte, N.C., to visit her father.

The next day, 10-year-old Miriam Kamens wound up in Newark, N.J., while flying alone on the same Continental contractor, ExpressJet. She was heading from Boston to Cleveland to see her grandparents.

“That they did this with my child and turned around the next day and did it with another child shows they do have major problems,” said Babineaux, who lives in the Bryan-College Station area 90 miles northwest of Houston.

Continental says it is making sure employees follow its procedures on unaccompanied minors. But Jonathan Kamens, Miriam’s father, said what happened with both girls shows the airline needs to change its policies.

“Unless they are doing that, they are not responding adequately and are in denial about the fact something needs to be done to prevent this from happening again,” said the 39-year-old software engineer from Boston.

Continental, based in Houston, said that in both cases two flights were departing simultaneously from a single doorway and miscommunication among staff resulted in the children being placed on the wrong planes.

“We’re reviewing the entire situation and are focused on reinforcing our procedures with our employees,” said Continental spokeswoman Kelly Cripe. “We fly thousands of unaccompanied minors every year and the procedures work when followed.”

Babineaux, 39, and Kamens both said they are upset Continental didn’t let them know right away what happened with their children and they first learned on their own or from other sources what occurred.

Both families had paid a $75 unaccompanied minor fee for the service. Cripe said the airline has apologized to both families and they have been refunded the fee.

Kamens also said Continental has agreed to refund his daughter’s fare, fly her back to Boston in first class and refund the cost of the tickets Miriam’s grandparents in Cleveland bought so they could fly back with her.

Miriam got to Cleveland about four hours after she was originally scheduled to do so. Babineaux said her daughter finally got to Charlotte at about 10:30 p.m.

At Continental, parents provide contact information when arranging for a child to fly alone. The paperwork is then given to employees at the ticket counter and parents are given a dummy boarding pass so they can go to the gate with their child.

A child is supposed to always be escorted and supervised. A child can be escorted by a gate agent to a plane and then handed off to a flight attendant. After the plane lands, the flight attendant is supposed to hand the child off to a gate agent or escort. Relatives are given passes for their pickup people on arrival.

At Continental’s hub airports – Houston, Cleveland and Newark – unaccompanied minors can wait at supervised facilities called Young Traveler Clubs, which provide entertainment and snacks.

While Babineaux has hired an attorney, both she and Kamens have said they are not looking for compensation from a lawsuit.

“I’m hoping to get better treatment for unaccompanied minors so no one will have to go through what I did,” Babineaux said.

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