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United Crew Refused to Allow Daughter of 94 Year Old Grandma to Assist Her Mother

United Crew Refused to Allow Daughter of 94 Year Old Grandma to Assist Her Mother

Old Apr 16, 17, 5:52 pm
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United Crew Refused to Allow Daughter of 94 Year Old Grandma to Assist Her Mother

...citing rules that say passengers should stay in their ticketed cabins.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...mped-seat.html

Looks like the crew on the MEL-LAX flight had common sense. The crew on the LAX-MEL flight lacked common sense. I think UA, first and foremost, needs to give some of its crew members some common sense training. This woman's grandchildren had pooled together their money to allow their grandmother to buy a business class ticket outright, so this woman was flying on a purchased, not upgraded, J fare (although that's really not relevant IMO). The fact remains that the crew not only refused to allow the daughter to come into the J cabin to help her elderly mother, but they also refused to help this woman themselves.

Here is the daughter's complaint: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-M...5xQWlQY1U/view
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Old Apr 16, 17, 5:58 pm
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#NotSurprised
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Old Apr 16, 17, 6:28 pm
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Ugh. Overly officious, hidebound, no exceptions style of customer interaction gives following the rules a bad name.
There are ALWAYS circumstances in which reasonable exceptions to a rule are appropriate.
This seems like one of those.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 6:29 pm
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What was the story a few years back when some diva had people in the back (hairdresser or nanny?) and they made a stink that they couldn't be up front with the diva, were told to stay in the cabin for which they had a ticket?
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Old Apr 16, 17, 6:32 pm
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sorry, which exception is next? How often are 'special' pax allowed in the front cabin. Rules are here for a reason ... want First ... buy First
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Old Apr 16, 17, 6:53 pm
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
What was the story a few years back when some diva had people in the back (hairdresser or nanny?) and they made a stink that they couldn't be up front with the diva, were told to stay in the cabin for which they had a ticket?
...and in that case, I'd say the crew was right. One of these scenarios passes the common sense test, the other does not. The diva would be just fine for a few hours without her nanny/hairdresser. The elderly woman would not, as she could not even walk to the bathroom on her own. That the UA crew apparently couldn't distinguish between these two cases is shocking (although perhaps less so, given what we've come to know about UA crews recently).
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Old Apr 16, 17, 6:59 pm
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If an animal has a "Service" vest draped over it, then it is allowed to sit with a ticketed pax in any cabin of a United aircraft. I came close to getting bitten by a chihuahua in the J cabin of a 777, seated with a pax across the aisle from me, last month.

Such accommodation of special needs seems, to me, more intrusive than allowing another human to assist a challenged passenger in the cabin. I recall reading a railway tariff that allowed a half-price ticket for someone accompanying a designated handicapped passenger and offering assistance during the trip. Perhaps that approach could prevent this problem?
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Old Apr 16, 17, 7:15 pm
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If she needed an assistant in J, why didn't she book an assistant in J?
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Old Apr 16, 17, 7:15 pm
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I actually wonder why the airline allows someone to sit alone in a cabin if they need help. They don't let underage minors alone on a plane, maybe the same should apply to overaged if they need assistance.

I agree it's terrible to not help the lady, but I can also see the argument from other passengers if someone keeps coming into the cabin it does create a disturbance.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by deskover54 View Post
I actually wonder why the airline allows someone to sit alone in a cabin if they need help. They don't let underage minors alone on a plane, maybe the same should apply to overaged if they need assistance.

I agree it's terrible to not help the lady, but I can also see the argument from other passengers if someone keeps coming into the cabin it does create a disturbance.
Don't they allow unaccompanied minors (UAMs) though? And they do allow UAMs in F/J, right?

The only time I flew UAM was YVR-HKG on Cathay as 10-year-old. I once flew a CLE-EWR-HKG-ORD itinerary myself on UA as a 14-year-old, but that was right before they raised the UAM age to 15. Both these trips were in Y

While UA should've allowed the family to help the lady, it does cause a disturbance to F/J pax. In the future they should have a policy that anyone who requires such assistance has to have a companion in the same or higher cabin.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 7:26 pm
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Perhaps we need a subforum entitled, "Outrageous Instances of United Enforcing Written Policy"?

Kidding aside, there will always be outlier cases where exceptions to policy might be warranted, and this was probably one in which some discretion would have been reasonable. One wonders if this would be a newsworthy event absent last week's debacle?
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Old Apr 16, 17, 7:27 pm
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Seemingly the pax in J needed somewhat minimal but vital assistance that the FA could have easily provided. It sounds like a lazy FA. Also poor compensation from customer care considering the circumstances.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 7:29 pm
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Unless United wants to prohibit everyone with any kind of disability to travel on their planes, they should either provide *reasonable accommodation* or let these people do so for themselves. In this case clearly United failed to do both.

[soapbox]
Not at all surprised, though. Sounds like the same kind of top grade jerks that comprise majority of UA crews (at least every time I am on one of their flights).

In spite of the usual "most of UA crews are decent hard-working people" talk I see here regularly, my experience is that most of them are surly, unpleasant people, extremely unhappy with their work and lives, who are finding release to their frustrations in making passenger experience as miserable as possible, while doing the bare minimum of actual work (and sometimes not even that).

I can't see any salvation for UA "service" other than replacing all flight staff wholesale (which, of course, can't happen). [/soapbox]
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Old Apr 16, 17, 7:30 pm
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Originally Posted by leungy18 View Post
Don't they allow unaccompanied minors (UAMs) though? And they do allow UAMs in F/J, right?

The only time I flew UAM was YVR-HKG on Cathay as 10-year-old. I once flew a CLE-EWR-HKG-ORD itinerary myself on UA as a 14-year-old, but that was right before they raised the UAM age to 15. Both these trips were in Y

While UA should've allowed the family to help the lady, it does cause a disturbance to F/J pax. In the future they should have a policy that anyone who requires such assistance has to have a companion in the same or higher cabin.
But UAMs have to pay a fee and then the crew helps/assist them as needed.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 7:33 pm
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The policy on what FA's will and will not do is clearly stated on their website - https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con.../inflight.aspx

If a passenger needs assistance during a flight, the solution is simple - fly with an assistant, and have them seated in the same cabin that you are.

Based on the information available, I'm with United 100% on this one...
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