Mother of 16yo Pleaded With Airport Security Guard to Look After Daughter

Mother of 16yo Pleaded With Airport Security Guard to Look After Daughter
  • A mother pleaded with an airport security guard on the phone to look after her teenage daughter.
  • Ainsley Ashton’s daughter was left alone overnight in Doha airport after her flight was canceled.
  • She was stuck in the airport for almost 24 hours after being “forgotten” by the transfer desk.

Ainsley Ashton’s 16-year-old daughter was stranded overnight in an airport more than 3,000 miles away on a journey from Africa to London.

The teenager was flying unaccompanied on August 28 from Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to Heathrow via Doha, Qatar.

The flights were booked with British Airways with the Doha-Kilimanjaro legs operated by Qatar, its codeshare partner. Insider has verified the itinerary from travel documents.

After Doha to London flight got canceled, the teenager told her mother and went to the transfer desk. She was told she would be put on the next flight available, but was later informed it had departed without her. “She had been forgotten,” her mother said.

The 16-year-old arrived in Doha at 5 pm and after that initial exchange with the transfer desk was left alone, Ashton told Insider.

“Nobody spoke to her. She reported herself to the transfer desk, so they were aware and then she was abandoned. They put her in the transfer office and then all packed up and literally left her in the airport, on her own.”

At 5:30 am, the only person at the airport was a sleeping security guard. Ashton told her daughter to wake him up so she could talk to him on the phone. “By this time, obviously, I was just like, please look after my daughter, please look after my daughter,” she said.

He didn’t understand the situation apart from the fact that she was a teenager alone at the airport, Ashton said.

She kept calling Qatar’s customer service, only to be told a manager would be on duty after 8 am

Once she was able to speak to a manager, Ashton’s daughter was put on the next flight to Heathrow. The experience has left her daughter “traumatized” and fears the experience has “destroyed her confidence.”

The teenager went to Africa to volunteer for International Volunteer HQ, working in schools and visiting orphanages.

British Airways and Qatar did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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