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-   -   United Splitting up Families (Basic Economy ticket) (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-airlines-mileageplus/1927588-united-splitting-up-families-basic-economy-ticket.html)

AUSINSIGHT Aug 28, 18 9:25 pm

There is an easy fix here. Children should be seated with parents regardless of fare class and should be seated in the rear of the plane (unless elite). This is a win win. They get their own section and we get to not have to deal with them.

kale73 Aug 28, 18 9:31 pm


Originally Posted by Collierkr (Post 30140868)
The solution to this problem is very simple. Buy the fare and pay fees necessary to ensure all in your party sit together.

I agree that the solution is simple. UA should abolish BE.

MSPeconomist Aug 28, 18 9:41 pm

Another solution is to prohibit children from flying if they're too young to sit away from their family. Then BE prices could still be offered to adults. <joking somewhat, as this would never be considered acceptable>

Kacee Aug 28, 18 9:44 pm


Originally Posted by AUSINSIGHT (Post 30141866)
This is a win win. They get their own section and we get to not have to deal with them.

Does it have to be on the inside of the aircraft?

bocastephen Aug 28, 18 10:45 pm

I need to ask - how was this other passenger forced into a middle seat? They were asked/shamed into it, or an employee somehow forced them to move? I would be beyond livid if this happened to me and would flat out refuse to move - either I keep my seat, or I should receive IDB.

I am really sick and tired of these entitled soccer-mom types showing up (not just at airports) without any preparation, research or forethought and demanding everyone else yield to their personal needs and those of their annoying "little precious" children.

Both United and Expedia make it very clear that a customer is NOT receiving a seat assignment with a Basic Economy fare, among other things. It's right there in a clear, unambiguous print, and only takes seconds to read and comprehend. No different than a BE customer demanding to put their bag in the overhead. The rules are clear. The purpose of the fare is to scavenge bottom of the bucket customers from Spirit and Frontier who already need to pay extra for any of these features when they fly on those airlines, and these fares are extremely easy to avoid.

Sorry, I have no sympathy here except for the customer who was forced to move into a middle, and for that, should receive compensation.

jsloan Aug 28, 18 10:57 pm


Originally Posted by pedrofs (Post 30141839)
I'm hearing that BE has been a failure, and AA has already modified the rules, UA to probably follow.

It's misdirection. BE has been a smashing success, although (apparently) somewhat less so than their original rosy predictions.

The entire point of the exercise was to create a product that nobody wanted to buy. Delta saw a sneaky way to raise fares. United copied them, but took it a step further, and then AA copied United. The overhead bin access might get rolled back, but that was the one positive of the system -- a noticeable reduction in the number of bags in the overhead on some fights.

I believe United's stats were that BE represented about 30% of their customers. That is a colossal win for them. Take out, say, 20% of passengers on paid first class or flexible tickets, that leaves you with about half of your customers left who would otherwise have bought the lowest available fare, but who went one level up to avoid BE. In what other context could any business offer such similar products at two different price points and get 50% to opt for the higher one?

As much as I hate it, BE is here to stay.


Originally Posted by pedrofs (Post 30141839)
The baggage charge program has created a nightmare for GA's and FA's with frequent demands at the gate that require gate checks, and onboard delays while people try to place oversize bags in the OH, while FA's try to jam them in, sometimes with no success. Airlines thought they would probably save money with fewer ramp people required with fewer pit bags, but now some flights need several ramp folks to get gate check bags down the jetway stairs and into the pit.

Source? I have serious doubts that any airline executive thought that charging for bags would save them money. AFAIK, it was done purely as a way to increase revenue and was assumed to be more-or-less cost neutral.


Originally Posted by pedrofs (Post 30141839)
After tales like heard in this topic, I assume the Big 3 will quietly drop the program, or keep modifying it (i.e. families travelling with children) so it becomes meaningless.

There's a reason that the ULCCs are so profitable. No matter how any of us may feel individually, collectively, this is the product that sells.


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 30142044)
The purpose of the fare is to scavenge bottom of the bucket customers from Spirit and Frontier who already need to pay extra for any of these features when they fly on those airlines, and these fares are extremely easy to avoid.

More marketing spin. BE never had anything to do with the ULCCs except for airline executives saying "hey, that's smart; let's do that." UA couldn't have been more clear during their rollout; for heaven's sake, they offered Y-BN fares initially.

BE is a fare increase, plain and simple.

usbusinesstraveller Aug 28, 18 10:58 pm


Originally Posted by AUSINSIGHT (Post 30141866)
There is an easy fix here. Children should be seated with parents regardless of fare class and should be seated in the rear of the plane (unless elite). This is a win win. They get their own section and we get to not have to deal with them.

There are easy fixes and some have been covered on here. My I suggest another.

Much as it pains me to give a comparison to RyanAir (and no I donít for one moment think UA is FR quality) Ryanair had similar issues and fixed it as follows -

With any families with children, the adults have to pay the seat selection fee, mandatory no questions asked, no fee paid by the adults no check in. The children (no seat fee required) would then be assured of being seated next to a parent/guardian (though not necessarily having the entire family seated together).

Thatís something that with a bit of effort from UAĒs IT geeks (and given the app I mean that on a good way) can be accomplished.

Though in this particular case I have no sympathy with the OP. It was his sister in law and her children (the OPís nephews/nieces) and he did diddly squat in volunteering to change his seats to help out and stuffed another passnger.

jsloan Aug 28, 18 11:01 pm


Originally Posted by usbusinesstraveller (Post 30142060)
With any families with children, the adults have to pay the seat selection fee, mandatory no questions asked, no fee paid by the adults no check in. The children (no seat fee required) would then be assured of being seated next to a parent/guardian (though not necessarily having the entire family seated together).

I'm shocked this is legal in Europe.

cbn42 Aug 29, 18 12:38 am


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 30142044)
I need to ask - how was this other passenger forced into a middle seat? They were asked/shamed into it, or an employee somehow forced them to move?

I would also like to know this. In all my years of flying, I've only seen one incident where an employee actually forced someone to move to a different seat, so my guess is that they were either shamed into it, or decided to comply because they didn't want the flight delayed any further.


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 30142044)
I would be beyond livid if this happened to me and would flat out refuse to move - either I keep my seat, or I should receive IDB.

If you "flat out refuse to move", you will probably be removed by law enforcement. The contract of carriage is very clear that seat assignments are not guaranteed, and you are required to follow crewmember instructions. IDB is when you are denied boarding, and has nothing to do with a seat assignment.


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 30142044)
I am really sick and tired of these entitled soccer-mom types showing up (not just at airports) without any preparation, research or forethought and demanding everyone else yield to their personal needs and those of their annoying "little precious" children.

So am I, but society as a whole values children and is willing to give preferential treatment to parents with children in certain cases. That's just the reality.


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 30142044)
Both United and Expedia make it very clear that a customer is NOT receiving a seat assignment with a Basic Economy fare, among other things. It's right there in a clear, unambiguous print, and only takes seconds to read and comprehend. No different than a BE customer demanding to put their bag in the overhead. The rules are clear.

It may be clear to Flyertalk-types, but I don't think it is very clear to an occasional flyer. Does no seat assignment mean you can still sit together? Does it simply mean you can't sit in certain areas, like premium economy? Does it mean you can select seats upon check-in? We know the answers to these questions, but not everyone does.


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 30142044)
Sorry, I have no sympathy here except for the customer who was forced to move into a middle, and for that, should receive compensation.

Flyertalkers love demanding compensation for every little thing. If the customer paid extra for a seat assignment that he couldn't utilize, I think he should be entitled to a refund of the upcharge. Other than that, stuff happens, shrug and move on.

Kacee Aug 29, 18 12:42 am


Originally Posted by cbn42 (Post 30142239)
If you "flat out refuse to move", you will probably be removed by law enforcement.

Nah, UA won't do that anymore after Dr. Dao. They'll offload the entire plane and leave you sitting there alone, while they fly everyone else on a different aircraft.

amanx Aug 29, 18 6:27 am


Originally Posted by omaralt (Post 30138698)
am i the only one here who thinks UA is in the wrong? i mean, yes we all know what a BE entails, but most people dont. when they buy a ticket on a legacy carrier they assume they can select seats; or at the minimum be able to be seated together. United is at fault here. they should automatically not allow you to buy BE seats when traveling with minors, or at least force you to pay for seat selection. otherwise they are saying it's acceptable for a 2 year old to be seated alone?? in what world does that make sense? can you imagine the lawsuit if something happened to that child during the flight? common sense needs to prevail here; UA (and all other airlines) need to ensure that a minor does not sit alone; whether it means forcing you into a higher fare or allowing free seat selection


No, you arent alone. UA knows you are traveliing with a 2 and 4 yr old. So should force you to pay for seats during hte booking process. It is a small IT change to add this. Ie if age less than 14, then go to paid seat selection- you can buy the ticket until you do.

And yes the OP is very odd indeed for not offering to swich seats with a his niece.

Often1 Aug 29, 18 6:35 am


Originally Posted by amanx (Post 30142929)
No, you arent alone. UA knows you are traveliing with a 2 and 4 yr old. So should force you to pay for seats during hte booking process. It is a small IT change to add this. Ie if age less than 14, then go to paid seat selection- you can buy the ticket until you do.

And yes the OP is very odd indeed for not offering to swich seats with a his niece.

This simply leads to fraud. FT would be clogged with stories of people who read that they could beat the system by lying at the booking stage and then were called up short at the gate.

Better to clearly draw a boundary here. UA is a for-profit commercial air carrier which offers a variety of products to its customer base. Parents are the legal guardians of their minor children and should choose from UA's product offerings according to their needs.

liverpoolfc Aug 29, 18 7:07 am


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 30142044)
I need to ask - how was this other passenger forced into a middle seat? They were asked/shamed into it, or an employee somehow forced them to move? I would be beyond livid if this happened to me and would flat out refuse to move - either I keep my seat, or I should receive IDB.

.

My guess, the seating assignment was likely

OP's SIL - Child 1 - Other Passenger
X - Child 2 - X

And between OP's SIL and the flight staff, they said that Other Passenger had to take the child's seat, and leave that row entirely to a family who doesn't plan ahead because it was "the right thing to do".

Miles Ahead Aug 29, 18 7:49 am

Probably. And the problem could have otherwise been solved with the OP trading his BP for Other Passenger's and taken Child 2's seat himself.

Often1 Aug 29, 18 7:51 am


Originally Posted by jsloan (Post 30142057)
It's misdirection. BE has been a smashing success, although (apparently) somewhat less so than their original rosy predictions.

The entire point of the exercise was to create a product that nobody wanted to buy. Delta saw a sneaky way to raise fares. United copied them, but took it a step further, and then AA copied United. The overhead bin access might get rolled back, but that was the one positive of the system -- a noticeable reduction in the number of bags in the overhead on some fights.

I believe United's stats were that BE represented about 30% of their customers. That is a colossal win for them. Take out, say, 20% of passengers on paid first class or flexible tickets, that leaves you with about half of your customers left who would otherwise have bought the lowest available fare, but who went one level up to avoid BE. In what other context could any business offer such similar products at two different price points and get 50% to opt for the higher one?

As much as I hate it, BE is here to stay.


Source? I have serious doubts that any airline executive thought that charging for bags would save them money. AFAIK, it was done purely as a way to increase revenue and was assumed to be more-or-less cost neutral.


There's a reason that the ULCCs are so profitable. No matter how any of us may feel individually, collectively, this is the product that sells.


More marketing spin. BE never had anything to do with the ULCCs except for airline executives saying "hey, that's smart; let's do that." UA couldn't have been more clear during their rollout; for heaven's sake, they offered Y-BN fares initially.

BE is a fare increase, plain and simple.

FT and other social media are simply an echo chamber when it comes to BE. One would think that BE is a total failure and no passenger uses it. DL, AA, and UA all make it clear in their earnings report that this is far from the truth. Companies tend not to lie about this given the consequences with federal prosecutors and the SEC..


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