BJU student denied flight home to China due to mistake

Sometimes little mistakes can cost you big-time. That’s just what happened to a Bob Jones Univeristy student from China trying to get home to his family this summer.

What happened to him is a warning to us all. But it’s what happened next, that shows when big problems lead to action, the hope of a happy ending is within reach.

What’s in a name? For one Bob Jones University International Student, the answer is his entire summer plans.

“My name is um, here people call me Peter Xia (pronounced shaw), but actually my real name is Kaidi Shaw,” he said.

Peter, a nickname so familiar, it lead to a costly mistake.

When Xia went to buy a $1000 dollar ticket home to China, that’s the “first name” he entered at United.com. But it’s not the name on his passport.

“He was excited, he was anxious to get home so it didn’t even cross his mind. It’s a mistake that any one of us would make in this situation,” said Bryan Boudreau the International Student Advisor at BJU.

Boudreau says Xia only learned of his mistake at the ticket counter when United denied him entry for boarding.

“When I got that information, I cannot go back to China, the first thing in my mind is where should I live,” said Xia.

“He showed up in my office after those 6 hours at the airport. He was distraught, he had nowhere to go, he had nothing to eat. So we arranged a room for him to stay in, we gave him a meal plan and we got him a campus job for the summer,” said Boudreau.

But his friends at BJU didn’t stop there. They sent emails to lawmakers and the media, posted a complaint on Facebook, and appealed to United on Twitter to “help this student.”

When 7News heard about Xia’s situation late last week we immediately contacted United. Their customer care team said they’d look into it over the weekend, and Monday he got his answer.

“They found him a seat on the airline so he could fly home this morning. We’re very excited about that, and very thankful to United for doing the right thing in this situation,” said Boudreau.

“I miss my parents. For 3 years I didn’t go back,” said Xia.

But now he has a second chance, after a single mistake was made right with the help of a whole community.

Here are important rules to know from the TSA when traveling

 

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