An airline has delivered the wrong child to a waiting mother.

In what is pretty much the absolute worst-case scenario for a parent whose child is flying solo, a New York mother was met by the wrong child when she arrived to pick her five-year-old son up at the airport last week.

When Maribel Martinez was greeted by a child who wasn’t her own, her first thought was that her son had been kidnapped.

When presented with the boy, she told JetBlue staffers, “No, this is not my child.”

“I thought I would never see him again,” she told New York’s Daily News. “I was freaking out.”

For three hours following the realisation, JetBlue employees reportedly tried to locate Martinez’s son Andy while she panicked.

Thankfully, nothing sinister had happened.

In an unfortunate coincidence, there were two five-year-old boys flying unaccompanied from the Dominican Republic to the US that day on the airline JetBlue. Somehow, they got mixed up along the way.

Watch the Mamamia Team confess to the times they felt like “bad parents”. (Post continues after video.) 

Martinez’s son was sent to Boston (where he was presumably met by an equally confused parent), and the other child was flown by accident to New York.

Thankfully, the boys have since been reunited with their real families.

The airline has apologised to the families affected, explaining that “while the children were always under the care and supervision of JetBlue crew members, we realise this situation was distressing for their families.”

It’s not known exactly how the mix-up occurred, but JetBlue say they are investigating the incident.

The airline has also reimbursed the families for the cost of the flights, as well as given them a $2100 bonus.

Featured image: iStock images