FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - AA Oversells AA76, Strands 27 8th Graders at LAX
Old Apr 2, 13, 2:37 am
  #13  
dbuckho
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Programs: AAPlt 1MM, HHDmd, MBvPLT/LTG, PCAmb
Posts: 1,255
Most school field trip policies will state minimum ratios of 1:20 for middle/high school aged kids with a minimum of 2 for reasons such as backup. If boys and girls are together and going overnight you usually need at least 1 male and 1 female. Being a private school it is quite possible they only had 2 adults, and breaking apart to different flights would have violated their procedures (which probably tie to liability insurance).

Also, most of us here on FT may know that Washington Flyer taxis can take a maximum 6 passengers or about other options like SuperShuttle. But in the moment facing the board decision the leader may not have been confident on how the logistics at IAD would work? Would the 6 have to further split to reach DC? I certainly would not want my 12 year old put in a taxi with other kids and no adults. Insurance again could play in as it might cover contracted bus services but not an event that happens in a taxi.

Bottom line you do not split a group of minors and i would have expected an adult I entrusted with my minor to take a similar stand. AA probably sold these tickets as a group booking. It is reasonable to expect to travel as a group.

I understand in that situation that the gate agents needed to get the flight out. Fine, and if they choose not to IDB 6 other people to protect the group of minors, also fine based on their procedures. But they should have also immediately escalated to management to have someone with authority start working on getting the group to DC vs. the way it was seemingly handled.

In an ideal world AA would have some clue about their operations - see the oversell + large group of minors via some advanced/predictive analytics tool - and alert the station head to get their ... down there and help manage it. Maybe someday after the merger!
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