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AirTran accused of leaving 11 y.o. UM alone on locked plane at ATL

AirTran accused of leaving 11 y.o. UM alone on locked plane at ATL

 
Old Jun 27, 14, 10:29 am
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AirTran accused of leaving 11 y.o. UM alone on locked plane at ATL

http://www.wrdw.com/news/homeandfami...264795251.html

Airtran flight.

Last edited by toomanybooks; Jun 27, 14 at 10:44 am
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Old Jun 27, 14, 12:58 pm
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WN accused of leaving 11 y.o. UM alone on locked plane at ATL

"He watched everybody walk past, and then he watched the flight attendants leave the plane. Then, the gate guard closed the door and locked it."
Likely the gate door, not the plane door. The plane door isn't closed while it's being catered/cleaned/crewed for the upcoming segment.

And no obviously-bright and well-traveled 11-year old is going to just head off to the next stop beleiving her dad's at the other end of the jetway.

As described, it's an AirTran fail.

Does seem odd her BP shows "Zone 3" boarding and no UM designation. Standard protocols?
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Old Jun 27, 14, 1:08 pm
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If one parent/guardian accompanies a minor to the departing gate and the other parent/guardian waits at the arrival gate, do airlines a require UM fee?
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Old Jun 27, 14, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
If one parent/guardian accompanies a minor to the departing gate and the other parent/guardian waits at the arrival gate, do airlines a require UM fee?
Yes, children 5-11 may only travel alone if they pay the UM fee and the parent/guardian accompanies them to the gate and other parent/guardian picks them up at the arrival gate.

Think of the UM fee as a babysitting fee for the FAs to board them first and to escort them to their waiting parent upon arrival. The fee also covers any supervisor or other personnel who has to watch them in case of a diversion.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by ERAU_MBA_Student View Post
Think of the UM fee as a babysitting fee for the FAs to board them first and to escort them to their waiting parent upon arrival. The fee also covers any supervisor or other personnel who has to watch them in case of a diversion.
If UMs pre-board, why would she be issued a "Zone 3" BP?
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Old Jun 27, 14, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
If UMs pre-board, why would she be issued a "Zone 3" BP?
That is part of what doesn't add up in the story. Just speculating here, but maybe the parents didn't pay the UM fee and AirTran thought she was 12-years old and therefore old enough to travel by herself.

That would explain the sequence of events, as teenagers traveling by themselves are expected to board and deplane on their own.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 2:18 pm
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Update.

Dan Landson with Southwest Airlines says Eleven year old Brianna Alley was never alone on a plane and the crew was on board the entire time. Landson also says the Brianna was never on a locked plane.
On Airtran Row 10 (the first row in the main cabin) is usually held for passengers needing assistance, like UMs
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Old Jun 27, 14, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
On Airtran Row 10 (the first row in the main cabin) is usually held for passengers needing assistance, like UMs
FL says UMs sit at the very back of the plane next to FAs. And are not handed a BP.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
FL says UMs sit at the very back of the plane next to FAs. And are not handed a BP.
I have seen UMs seated in Row 10. They usually have some kind of tag attached to their clothing, I always assumed that was their boarding pass.

I usually try to sit in Row 12 which is the first row available to select online. Rows 10 and 11 are blocked but if you call in you can sometimes get the phone agents to give you a seat in row 11, especially if you're Elite and the plane is full. (An Airtran tip) The BC FA usually serves the first 3 rows in the main cabin while the other 2 FA's start at the back and work forward.

From my observation Row 10 would get better visibility than the last row. The BC FA seldom leaves the front of the plane while the other FAs are busy serving the rest of the passengers. After the initial service usually 2 FAs are in the front and only one FA is at the rear of the plane.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
I have seen UMs seated in Row 10.
I never have.

Policy says UMs board first and sit in the last two rows.

And the airline confirms this crew followed all policies.

"We looked into the situation and confirmed all of our procedures were followed correctly," Dan Landson with Southwest said.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 7:06 pm
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When he didn't see his daughter, Brianna's dad asked a gate attendant where she was. "The ticket counter guy said that's not my job. I don't know where she is," Abigail says.
Infuriating!
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Old Jun 27, 14, 10:33 pm
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Has anyone confirmed if the 11 year old was flying as a UM?
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Old Jun 28, 14, 1:13 am
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
If UMs pre-board, why would she be issued a "Zone 3" BP?
I would assume it's kind of like wheel chair or other pre-boards on WN: they're issued regular BPs then pre board. Same goes for AS (although they don't board by zones).
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Old Jun 28, 14, 2:44 am
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
FL says UMs sit at the very back of the plane next to FAs. And are not handed a BP.
That's the preferred location. Actually row 29 because it's the last row with full view windows on a 717. Kids like windows.

But depending on booking date they could be seated anywhere.

Walk up fares actually do happen with Unaccompanied minors. That could result in a Zone 3.

BP yes they get them is tucked inside the UM envelope which the departing GA, lead FA and arriving GA sign. It's like a chain of possession thing.

If there are bag claim checks contained within both are likely returned on arrival.

Last edited by traveller001; Jun 28, 14 at 3:00 am
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Old Jun 28, 14, 10:06 am
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
Has anyone confirmed if the 11 year old was flying as a UM?
So far as the record reveals, no. But as SWA insists that at no time was the minor left unattended, I'd guess there was a UM payment. And they probably have paperwork supporting their side.

It's a hearsay case. The step mother is the complaining witness but she wasn't at the gate.

The upshot of all this: Fam wants airline comp, hears nada, calls a reporter.
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