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United Splitting up Families (Basic Economy ticket)

United Splitting up Families (Basic Economy ticket)

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Old Aug 30, 18, 11:50 am
  #196  
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
This is not an argument you are ever going to win.

1 parent needs to be with a small child. It's not a convenience. It is a necessity and really almost a right.

Which means that if airlines are going to sell tickets without seat assignments, they are going to need to deal wirh this situation.
How about the parents do their homework and figure out they need to buy a standard economy fare in order to receive complimentary seat assignments together instead of being cheap, and deciding they will force their inconvenient decision on other people when they board the flight.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 11:55 am
  #197  
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It seems they bought the cheapest seats they could and now expect others (who paid more) to be inconvenienced.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 12:06 pm
  #198  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
How about the parents do their homework and figure out they need to buy a standard economy fare in order to receive complimentary seat assignments together instead of being cheap, and deciding they will force their inconvenient decision on other people when they board the flight.
Again, the argument that "parents dealing with a million little problems need to be expert consumers or we enforce the rules rigidly against them" is not one that you will win.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 1:08 pm
  #199  
 
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
A United employee (GA) explicitly said not to do that, another United employee (FA) fixed it a different way, and the OP (who isn't the one who bought BE) is at fault for not going around the GA's back? Wow.
That's not the way I read it. What the GA said was that s/he *wouldn't* do it for the OP. The FA was perfectly willing to shuffle people around once on board.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 1:53 pm
  #200  
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
Again, the argument that "parents dealing with a million little problems need to be expert consumers or we enforce the rules rigidly against them" is not one that you will win.
Yup, that's the reality. The airline simply cannot enforce the rule in this situation. We can all say that the parent should have planned better and taken responsibility and so on, but at the end of the day, no airline is going to make a child sit without their parent, because of 1) the legal liability should the child get hurt, and 2) the bad publicity that could easily result.

The airline simply has no choice but to do whatever it takes to reunite the family. Therefore, the best thing is to resolve the situation in advance, either through the booking process or at the gate. If they don't, their hand will be forced on board right before departure.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 2:43 pm
  #201  
 
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Originally Posted by cbn42 View Post
Yup, that's the reality. The airline simply cannot enforce the rule in this situation. We can all say that the parent should have planned better and taken responsibility and so on, but at the end of the day, no airline is going to make a child sit without their parent, because of 1) the legal liability should the child get hurt, and 2) the bad publicity that could easily result.

The airline simply has no choice but to do whatever it takes to reunite the family.
I don't know what routes you are flying - but I see young children all the time not seated right next to parents (usually a row or two in front or behind) in the front of the plane and the back on the Hawaii/mainland routes.....
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Old Aug 30, 18, 3:00 pm
  #202  
 
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Originally Posted by cbn42 View Post
Yup, that's the reality. The airline simply cannot enforce the rule in this situation. We can all say that the parent should have planned better and taken responsibility and so on, but at the end of the day, no airline is going to make a child sit without their parent, because of 1) the legal liability should the child get hurt, and 2) the bad publicity that could easily result.

The airline simply has no choice but to do whatever it takes to reunite the family. Therefore, the best thing is to resolve the situation in advance, either through the booking process or at the gate. If they don't, their hand will be forced on board right before departure.
I would love to hear what guidance United provides to its gate agents. @fastair - care to chime in? I can't imagine that United after the various disastrous news stories of recent years would risk having a small kid fly in a seat separated from their parent. And it would seem better to sort this out at the gate instead of on the plane. For those who are upset that some innocent passenger was inconvenienced... let me cite a common FT mantra: seat assignments are never guaranteed.

It also seems UA could also be a bit more proactive. They seem to be perfectly happy to sell me a BE when I specify that the travelers are one adult and one child age 2-4. If United wanted to avoid situations like the OP's, perhaps they could either not sell BE tickets to those customers or force an additional seat assignment purchase.

The response to the OP from most UA FTers hasn't really surprised me after a decade on this forum, but I think y'all are very short-sighted. How'd you like to sit next to a 4 year-old with their guardian/parent five rows away? And what would you tell your "kettle" sister or brother if the OP's story had happened to them? Shoulda read the rules on the website, sis?
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Old Aug 30, 18, 3:13 pm
  #203  
 
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Originally Posted by seenitall View Post
So you mean there's a chance?
You win the thread!
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Old Aug 30, 18, 3:27 pm
  #204  
 
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Originally Posted by cbn42 View Post
You are looking at the United site, while the booking in question was made through Expedia, which is much less clear.
That is true, but she was warned about this:

Originally Posted by Aknoff View Post
I've advised multiple times to just buy a "real" fare from the airline directly.
Looking at the top post, I am wondering if she thought that federal law would trump what she saw on the screen. We know the OP was misinformed about this law, and we know the OP talks to his sister-in-law about flying. I think it's much more likely that she didn't think the various alerts and red X's applied to her situation than simply not seeing them.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 4:35 pm
  #205  
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Originally Posted by closecover View Post
You win the thread!
lol except the picture quotes isn’t from where the OP purchased....

This thread is embarrassing - and I would say it’s really an American culture issue and United should have known better.... As someone that has lived all over the world and has seen how the Europeans and Asians deal with families traveling - regardless of fare basis lol - this is ridiculous, selfish behavior. We’ve lost all compassion and care way more for ourselves than others.... it’s all about ME - in the “friendly skies” lol

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 30, 18 at 8:07 pm Reason: Discuss the issues, not the poster(s)
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Old Aug 30, 18, 4:48 pm
  #206  
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
Again, the argument that "parents dealing with a million little problems need to be expert consumers or we enforce the rules rigidly against them" is not one that you will win.
If taking 3 seconds to read and comprehend the pre-purchase warning on united.com or a reseller requires being an expert consumer, I need to say that's just ridiculous and sort of proves my point about soccer mom types.

Now I will say your point is 100% accurate when it comes to buying a First Class ticket on united.com without any obvious warning that one is really buying a coach fare with an instant "courtesy" upgrade, one does need to be an expert consumer to understand what they actually just bought because United is deliberately obfuscating the details behind arcane fare rules that require multiple clicks to locate - but for basic economy? Sorry, it's right there in a table that a monkey could understand.

No one is enforcing the rules against someone - but the rules are being enforced across all customers who buy this type of fare regardless of their personal needs or wants the customer may feel should override such rules.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 30, 18 at 8:08 pm Reason: inflammatory comment deleted
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Old Aug 30, 18, 4:52 pm
  #207  
 
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Originally Posted by cbn42 View Post
Yup, that's the reality. The airline simply cannot enforce the rule in this situation. We can all say that the parent should have planned better and taken responsibility and so on, but at the end of the day, no airline is going to make a child sit without their parent, because of 1) the legal liability should the child get hurt, and 2) the bad publicity that could easily result.

The airline simply has no choice but to do whatever it takes to reunite the family. Therefore, the best thing is to resolve the situation in advance, either through the booking process or at the gate. If they don't, their hand will be forced on board right before departure.
Yes, I agree, this is the reality. UA needs to resolve the situation in advance, preferably through the booking process.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 11:41 pm
  #208  
 
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Guys, United didn't split the family up. They split themselves up by buying BE and either not reading or ignoring the warnings.
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Old Aug 31, 18, 1:10 am
  #209  
 
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Has it been discussed that at least on the UA site you have to put the fliers age in? Putting an adult and kids under 14(13?) on a BE ticket should kick it out of the system and not let the transaction complete.
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Old Aug 31, 18, 1:47 am
  #210  
 
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Originally Posted by PushingTin View Post
Has it been discussed that at least on the UA site you have to put the fliers age in? Putting an adult and kids under 14(13?) on a BE ticket should kick it out of the system and not let the transaction complete.
I guess in the absence of personal responsibilty (a concept society is not really big on) this may be a necessary step.
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