Old Aug 28, 18, 7:49 am
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 531
Could United come up with a way to better handle this? Sure, but I'd guess it's not incredibly easy. Should the OTA make it much clearer that these fares don't offer advance seat assignment and that seats together are not guaranteed? Absolutely. I'm not running UA or the OTA, but if I were, I would make it a stronger effort to better manage expectations, since customer disappointment and anger often occur when reality doesn't meet expectations.

However, in this case, some parents make an assumption that even if the airline doesn't offer them advance seat assignments, that they would be seated together. That's not an unreasonable expectation, but on the other hand, if something is very important to me, I make the time to research it. Yes, I know parents are busy – and believe it or not, plenty of people without children are also busy. I just searched "basic economy seat assignments together" on Google, and the first result was the below. The fourth result was a blog post that discusses how group or family seating is not guaranteed. I'm not saying the airlines and OTAs didn't contribute to this problem – the latter especially should have made it much clearer. But, at the end of the day, the parents bought the fare and are the ones who are ultimately responsible for their children. One minute spent searching on something that was important to them could have saved them the hassle. I'd share my feedback with the airlines and OTAs and chalk it up as a lesson learned for the future.

Basic Economy frequently asked questions United Airlines
A: With Basic Economy, if you do not purchase advance seat assignments, we're not able to guarantee that your family will be able to sit together. If it's important ...
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