‘Help me please:’ Boy, 11, flying alone for 1st time, stranded overnight after emergency landing

BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- It was supposed to be an easy trip home. It was the 11-year-old boy's first time flying by himself, and Trevor Sieger ended up stranded in Chicago.

"It was just rough," said Sieger.

He made it home 24 hours later. His family said the trip was anything but easy.

"A disaster. It turned into like, a movie," said Rebecca Oxford, Sieger's mother.

Frontier Airlines Flight 501 was set to go from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Denver, Colorado on Tuesday night, June 5, but technical issues required an emergency landing -- a change in plans those at the gate in Denver didn't know about.

"They said 'I'm sorry. They're still in the air. They're going to land,'" said Oxford.

As it turned out, the plane wasn't in the air at all.

"According to my son's text messages, they're in Chicago," said Oxford.

Oxford said the text messages were the only reason she knew her son's flight was diverted.

"You would think they would do their due diligence and be like 'hey, we're diverting to Chicago. Let's just inform the mom,'" said Oxford.

Sieger was frantic in Chicago.

"They didn't keep me up to date. It was pretty scary. It was my first time flying by myself, so I was pretty scared," said Sieger.

He sent his mom text messages reading "help me please," and "scariest thing ever."

"I felt super helpless the whole time," said Oxford.

Because it was so late, there were no more Frontier flights to Denver that night. Sieger had to stay in Chicago in a hotel room -- alone. While an airline employee was just down the hall, it wasn't good enough for Oxford. She got on the next flight out of DIA to Chicago.

"They were treating us like we were being unreasonable," said Oxford.

Oxford said she knows the trials and tribulations of air travel are out of everyone's hands, but she said communication is something you can control.

"Just frustrated. I will not have him fly alone again. There's nothing more nerve-racking than having your child in another state, and you can't do anything," said Oxford.

Frontier did give the family and everyone else on the flight at $200 voucher for the trouble, but on Wednesday, Frontier told Oxford they'd also pay for her flight back home. However, when she went to sort out the payments, the gate employee told her she'd have to pay for the flight herself -- so KDVR's Problem Solvers stepped in. After that, officials said they'd refund her flight charges immediately.