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

Flight stewards quickly became distracted

Updated: 
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.

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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.

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