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Booking child for only first leg of the flight

Booking child for only first leg of the flight

Old Jul 24, 13, 3:08 pm
  #1  
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Booking child for only first leg of the flight

Is it possible to book a child on their own PNR for only the first leg of a flight with their parents without it being considered an unaccompanied minor? In this scenario, my wife and I want to fly AUS->IAH->LGA and have our child fly with us from AUS->IAH where relatives will meet us at the airport to watch her while we are in New York. On the way back we would do LGA->IAH->AUS and go out of security at IAH to get her and bring her back on the IAH->AUS flight.

I attempted to call United but their only suggestion was to book all 3 of us for AUS->IAH->LGA and then tell the gate agent our child decided not to go to LGA. That didn't make sense and costs more than just booking our child for AUS->IAH.

Can I book a child ticket for AUS->IAH (roundtrip) if the parents are booked for the same flights but on a different PNR since we have the LGA leg. Also, she'll be staying with relatives so in no scenario would she try to get on the IAH->AUS leg if we were delayed in LGA for any reason.

Thanks
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Old Jul 24, 13, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by NomadicRiley View Post
Is it possible to book a child on their own PNR for only the first leg of a flight with their parents without it being considered an unaccompanied minor? In this scenario, my wife and I want to fly AUS->IAH->LGA and have our child fly with us from AUS->IAH where relatives will meet us at the airport to watch her while we are in New York. On the way back we would do LGA->IAH->AUS and go out of security at IAH to get her and bring her back on the IAH->AUS flight.

I attempted to call United but their only suggestion was to book all 3 of us for AUS->IAH->LGA and then tell the gate agent our child decided not to go to LGA. That didn't make sense and costs more than just booking our child for AUS->IAH.

Can I book a child ticket for AUS->IAH (roundtrip) if the parents are booked for the same flights but on a different PNR since we have the LGA leg. Also, she'll be staying with relatives so in no scenario would she try to get on the IAH->AUS leg if we were delayed in LGA for any reason.

Thanks
How old is the child? Not sure if you can if under 12 - definitely can do this if over 12.
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Old Jul 24, 13, 3:23 pm
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She's under 12
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Old Jul 24, 13, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by NomadicRiley View Post
She's under 12
The rules state a parent must be on the same flight it doesn't specifically say the child must be on the same PNR.

Will online allow you to book a separate PNR? I'm guessing no but never tried it.

Have you tried calling again to explain you will be on the flight and see if an agent will do it?
Sometimes you need to call and try a few different agents until one gives you the "right" answer. I don't see a rule that prevents it only rules that would prevent the minor from using that ticket should their be no parent or guardian present when you board.
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Old Jul 24, 13, 3:37 pm
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the UM section on UA.com reads:

"Children 5 to 11 years of age who are not accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or someone who is at least 18 years of age on the same aircraft are considered unaccompanied minors."

As jkburns1 said, doesn't say anything about the same PNR, though they might claim that it is implied. I think you should be able to jam this through somehow.
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Old Jul 24, 13, 3:39 pm
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I regularly book tickets for Miss and Master PVDProf, while checking the "adult" box, so I can book my ticket separately. Even when we've had irrops, there have been no problems--no mention of it--when rebooking, even before the SHARES process of splitting everyone's PNRs at check-in. They're not trying to stick you with a UM fee while you're sitting there; they're trying to make sure no kid ends up accidentally in their care without anyone knowing, or that they can demand the fee or deny travel when there are no adults traveling.
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Old Jul 24, 13, 3:40 pm
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The UA web page for UM doesn't say anything about needing to be on the same PNR.

Children 5 to 11 years of age who are not accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or someone who is at least 18 years of age on the same aircraft are considered unaccompanied minors.
I would just book it online, or if you feel the need to call, don't even raise UM/age issue, just buy the tickets you need.

Edit: Looks like ddrost1 beat me to the quote.
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Old Jul 24, 13, 4:03 pm
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Originally Posted by NomadicRiley View Post
Can I book a child ticket for AUS->IAH (roundtrip) if the parents are booked for the same flights but on a different PNR since we have the LGA leg.
Sure thing. Just book it online.
I had two discount vouchers for my wife and 2 year old to fly to Denver. Those have to be separate bookings. United.com had no problem with a 2 year old with her own PNR, and her mom was beside her on the plane the whole way.
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Old Jul 24, 13, 4:07 pm
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If you try to book the child online it forces you to pay the fees. Last month I tried the hang up and call again method a few times before giving up. In the end I booked him as an adult and then had the GA change him to "child" right before the flight.
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Old Jul 24, 13, 4:50 pm
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I had no trouble booking all four of my children (13, 11, 9 and 7) on separate PNRs. I booked my wife and I on cash and then each of them on award tickets from each of their own MP accounts and there was no issue at all.
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Old Jul 24, 13, 5:01 pm
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Originally Posted by familyflier View Post
If you try to book the child online it forces you to pay the fees. Last month I tried the hang up and call again method a few times before giving up. In the end I booked him as an adult and then had the GA change him to "child" right before the flight.
Since child ticket discounts went away many years ago, I've always just selected Adult for all.
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Old Jul 24, 13, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by djk7 View Post
Since child ticket discounts went away many years ago, I've always just selected Adult for all.
I've always done this, too, even for my infant daughter under 2 with her own seat. Is there any drawback to doing this?
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Old Jul 24, 13, 5:45 pm
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Originally Posted by hmy1 View Post
I've always done this, too, even for my infant daughter under 2 with her own seat. Is there any drawback to doing this?
Not that I ever found. My "child" is 22 now, so I've not done this since secure flight requirements to enter the birth date have come into play.
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Old Jul 24, 13, 8:17 pm
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I've done what the OP suggests on numerous (well over 20) occasions with my 3 y/o 1 K son (even booking his ticket on UA.com by himself w/o issue). Since my inlaws live near ORD I've had him on his own PNR to and from ORD with me on my own PNR going elsewhere after connecting at ORD.

In fact two weeks ago I called the ORD GS office and was able get my inlaws a gate pass to pick my son at the gate without a second thought because I had a 30 min connection at ORD and was supposed to drop him off with Grandma and Grandpa. I think the point is as long as an adult who is responsible for child is on the flight UA will not consider him/her a UM.
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Old Jul 24, 13, 8:24 pm
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I've done this fairly regularly. I book my (now 5-yo) daughter plain old boring tickets (as an "adult"), and have dropped her with Grandma & Grandpa at security on more than one occasion. Never had a problem. Presumably UA can figure out her age, since the ticket requires her birthdate.

(I know I'm just joining the chorus here, but more data points are good).
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