Here's how close strangers can get to unaccompanied kids on planes

Hidden cameras show how close strangers can get to children on planes

Airlines in the USA charge parents an extra $300 (£240) to keep their children safe when they're flying alone, but just how protected are they?

With as many as 400,000 children flying alone on any given weekend, Inside Edition conducted a demonstration to see how easy it can be for someone to approach an unaccompanied minor.

See also: Which is the best plane seat for the smoothest ride?

See also: This is why plane windows are shaped like they are

When eight-year-old Aaliyah Purdy flew by herself from Newark, New Jersey to Charlotte in North Carolina her parents allowed Inside Edition to attach a hidden camera to her.

Aaliyah was seated in the back row of the plane, to make it easier for flight attendants to keep an eye on her.

But when the plane starts to get busy and it's time to hand out food and drink, it seems Aaliyah is quickly forgotten.

An Inside Edition producer left his assigned seat and moved towards the back of the plane to sit alongside the little girl without anyone so much as batting an eyelid.

The man was even able to give Aaliyah a chocolate bar without anyone noticing, or stepping in.

A 13-year-old girl who flew from Dallas to Portland by herself over the summer says she was sexually assaulted by a stranger sitting beside her.

Mackenzie says she was groped by the passenger sitting next to her, Chad Camp, who was charged with 'abusive sexual contact' upon landing.

Mackenzie's mother, Rachel Miller, said: "He was able to touch her, he was able to do basically whatever he wanted."

Their lawyer, Brent Goodfellow, has launched a lawsuit against the airline.

Youngsters flying along can sometimes face other nightmares, Inside Edition found that in the past five years there have been 244 complaints filed with the department of transportation.

Five-year-old Andy Martinez was put on the wrong flight by Jet Blue airlines and when his mother went to meet him she was faced with a different child, carrying her son's passport.

Instead of arriving at JFK Airport in New York, Andy somehow ended up in Boston.

Coolest gadgets for flights
See Gallery
Coolest gadgets for flights

It may be one of the most anti-social in-flight accessories around, but the B-tourist is ideal for eating, sleeping and reading while pretending no-one on the plane exists. Made from stretchy fabric, it loops around the seat backs and features plastic rings on the sides to adjust the width of your privacy. The B-tourist is yet to hit the market.

Designed to keep you extra warm and comfortable on long-haul flights, the Duvet Suit comes in a carry bag that is condensed and can be used as a pillow and detachable hood. The suit is a two-piece outfit that can be worn as separates if you get too warm on the plane.
Having trouble getting comfy in your seat? The Ostrich Pillow was invented for power naps and allows you to comfortably rest your head on any surface (even the plane window), while blocking out visual and aural distractions. There's just one catch - it doesn't look good and you'll certainly attract a few stares with this quirky pillow that makes you appear to be wearing a padded balaclava.
It might not be the most fashionable jacket, but if you want to stay cool on a plane, the Kuchofuku Air Conditioned Jacket may be the answer. The jacket features two cooling fans on its back which waft a refreshing breeze around the wearer. The fans are powered by AA batteries or can be plugged into a computer using a USB cable.

One of the most controversial travel gadgets to date, the Knee Defender has caused quite a stir and has even diverted flights. The gadget works by helping you stop reclining seats on planes. It clips onto your meal tray and prevents the person in front from reclining. The plastic gadget, which has been criticized as being a passive aggressive product, even comes with a 'Courtesy Card' which you can present to the passenger in front asking them not to recline their seat. The creators of the product say that if this is not effective, the Knee Defender acts as your 'Plan B'.

Need help falling asleep on a plane? SleepPhones provide restful, audio-assisted relaxation without bulky headphones or uncomfortable earbuds. The wearable technology works as pyjamas for your ears, using smooth fleece material and helping you fall asleep on a flight while reducing ambient noise, conversations and snoring.

Conscious of plane germs? The trayGUARD is a tray table cover that provides an instant hygienic surface for flyers. The inventors say it is food contact safe and incorporates a chemical-free antimicrobial technology that is effective for the duration of your trip. Just slip it over your tray and you won't have to worry about catching flu germs. There is even a kids' version which comes with crayons for children to decorate their trayGUARD.

Does dozing on a flight leave you with neck pain? For those not getting enough support from U-shaped neck pillows, the NapAnywhere head support could be the answer. The pillow was developed by physician Dr. Shamaiengar to make travelling a more comfortable experience and is a minimalist device providing head support while in a seated position. The top part of the NapAnywhere features a shelf which sits below the chin and back of the head with a design to cradle your head.
Aero-Tray allows you to make the most of your space on a flight with its two-tier system which can separate food and drinks from your electronic items. It features an extendable pull-out shelf and cup support while counteracting the angle of a reclined seat in front, elevating your computer screen to relax neck, wrists and eye strain.

Part pillowcase, part hoodie, part iPhone case, the HoodiePillow promises ultimate Cocoonification™ to help you tuck away your stresses and relax on a flight. The travel pillowcase offers warmth, quiet and a healthy sleep environment while keeping the light out to give you uninterrupted shut-eye on a plane. It fits standard bed pillows and is made from premium sweatshirt material, which features two drawstrings for you to adjust it to your head size.

Read Full Story