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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)

mahasamatman Aug 27, 18 6:53 pm

Some people have far to high a sense of entitlement. I would be livid if my seat were taken by someone who refuses to plan ahead and thinks the world should revolve around them.


Originally Posted by Aknoff (Post 30136735)
I gently reminded the gate agent that unrelated to United's fare policies there's actually a federal law that prohibits minors being split apart from their parents on planes.

How can you "remind" someone of something that's simply not true? People complain all the time about agents who make up fake rules - it's just as bad when a customer (and not even a passenger) does it.

dtbe Aug 27, 18 8:08 pm

So according to United there is no problem with a 2 years old to sit alone several rows behind her mother? And they expect the flight to take off safely?

It is mother's responsibility to plan ahead, but we can also expect some common sense from the GA. What was s/he thinking that would happen on board?

Plane-is-home Aug 27, 18 8:35 pm


Originally Posted by dtbe (Post 30137329)
So according to United there is no problem with a 2 years old to sit alone several rows behind her mother? And they expect the flight to take off safely?

It is mother's responsibility to plan ahead, but we can also expect some common sense from the GA. What was s/he thinking that would happen on board?

the right thing to do would have been to deny boarding to her and her kids. Of course that would have caused another {issue} on the other hand why can’t UA IT refuse the ticket sale in BE after DOBs of minors are entered ?



IWontRegretThis Aug 27, 18 8:39 pm


Originally Posted by dtbe (Post 30137329)
So according to United there is no problem with a 2 years old to sit alone several rows behind her mother? And they expect the flight to take off safely?

It is mother's responsibility to plan ahead, but we can also expect some common sense from the GA. What was s/he thinking that would happen on board?

One of my favorite quotes-

"A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

Mother should have looked at what she was buying ahead of time and planned accordingly, instead of making up a non existant federal rule to justify having other people moved out of their possibly extra paid-for seats. I see this happen all the time between families with children - if you absolutly must sit together unfortunatly on these cheap fares she should have paid for it. Would have been the same on AA DL or UA so.


Originally Posted by Plane-is-home (Post 30137390)


the right thing to do would have been to deny boarding to her and her kids. Of course that would have caused another shitstorm
on the other hand why can’t UA IT refuse the ticket sale in BE after DOBs of minors are entered ?


I agree with the UA IT part - if the airline is going to come up with the asanine rules behind BE fares, they should at least know by now that it causes these kinds of issues and should have systems in place to deal with it such as your suggestion, instead of leaving it ambiguous especially in the case of 3rd party TAs like expedia.

arttravel Aug 27, 18 10:03 pm


Originally Posted by writerguyfl (Post 30137040)
That's not quite right. As fastair notes, Expedia clearly states that a fee applies when choosing seats on a Basic Economy fare. From Expedia:

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...d05bf1a225.jpg

But, that's just a technical detail. Your premise holds: Because of lack of planning, lack of knowledge, or reluctance to pay for a seat, another traveler was forced into a less desirable seat. I agree that's not fair.

Indeed Expedia is not that clear and the wording is poor — once
one goes to the payment section it is shown that seat assignment
is “not available” same with changes etc. Expedia also has a 24 hour cancellation policy for US flights so there was time to figure out the seat assignment issue and cancel if needed



https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...a1e8461a3f.png

JVPhoto Aug 27, 18 10:13 pm

I had to look up MSN. Madison seems like it would be big enough but was the first agent UA or contracted staff for MSN?

azepine00 Aug 27, 18 10:23 pm


Originally Posted by mahasamatman (Post 30137124)
Some people have far to high a sense of entitlement. I would be livid if my seat were taken by someone who refuses to plan ahead and thinks the world should revolve around them.

No it has nothing to do with entitlement.
Its the same courtesy that we extent to the elderly by offering them a seat on a bus or perhaps to pregnant women who we let to go ahead of us in some line etc etc..

calling the need for a small child to sit with a parent "entitlement" is just messed up...

It should not be hard for ua to keep young children together with parents as they normally do on countless flights on any fare to avoid reseating issues (which are indeed unfair to others)...

jsloan Aug 27, 18 10:36 pm


Originally Posted by azepine00 (Post 30137646)
Its the same courtesy that we extent to the elderly by offering them a seat on a bus or perhaps to pregnant women who we let to go ahead of us in some line etc etc..

Except that it isn't, really, unless you're on a bus where you can pay to reserve seating and the person elected not to do that.

There are times when plans go awry, seat assignments are lost, IRROPS occurs, etc. It doesn't sound like this was one of them, which is where the charge of "entitlement" comes from. From that perspective, the passenger had an opportunity to purchase a fare that included E- seat assignments, or to purchase E+ seats, chose not to do so, and then wanted to be accommodated anyway, inconveniencing a fellow passenger in the process.

arttravel Aug 27, 18 10:38 pm

When one acts as their own travel agent by booking their own tickets one has to do the research and accept the outcome of their choice.

It would have taken a few extra minutes to review or call and ask, it would save “tears” at the airport.

And I have to agree with mahasamatman that it is not appropriate to misquote legislation — to say there is a law when in fact there is not one.

What can can one do in the future — pay attention to what is being purchased.

It is not fair to pay less and expect someone who has paid more to make accommodations; if that was the case I would be living on 5th Avenue with a view of the park, even though I did not pay for that.

As much as I loathe Basic Economy fares I occasionally meet a traveler that does not — often college students going home and do not need overhead or check in luggage.

I am upset about this scenario because I often buy tickets with not much advance notice, and end up paying E fare code for economy— and would not be pleased to be put in a middle seat to accommodate a Basic Economy family for a 2 hour flight.

UA is clear that family seating is not available on a Basic economy fare and that once seats are assigned they cannot be changed.

What do advise people in the future? Do not buy Basic Economy fares.


Kevin AA Aug 27, 18 10:47 pm

They should send you an e-mail that says "You do not have seat assignments! Pay for one or sit separately on the plane!" Maybe that would get the point across. Making up a nonexistent federal law was a big mistake.

IWontRegretThis Aug 27, 18 10:51 pm


Originally Posted by Kevin AA (Post 30137697)
They should send you an e-mail that says "You do not have seat assignments! Pay for one or sit separately on the plane!" Maybe that would get the point across. Making up a nonexistent federal law was a big mistake.

See this is the sort of sensible thing that if United ever implimented I would be very scared for the state of the universe haha.

DiamondInTheRough Aug 27, 18 11:13 pm

Am I the only one who is wondering why OP didn't help up their sister, by switching with her? It sounds like OP had seats together. At the very least one adult could have switched with a sister's child, so that the child didn't sit alone. Or maybe offered one of their better seats to an inconvenienced passenger who had to take the middle.

arttravel Aug 27, 18 11:14 pm


Originally Posted by azepine00 (Post 30137646)
No it has nothing to do with entitlement.
Its the same courtesy that we extent to the elderly by offering them a seat on a bus or perhaps to pregnant women who we let to go ahead of us in some line etc etc..

calling the need for a small child to sit with a parent "entitlement" is just messed up...

It should not be hard for ua to keep young children together with parents as they normally do on countless flights on any fare to avoid reseating issues (which are indeed unfair to others)...

I take public transportation and will give up my seat for the elderly, disabled, and families. I do that as a courtesy. I did not pay more for my fare than the mother with children. Seniors and disabled get a discount and if I live long enough or have a change of ability I will receive the same discount.

It was a choice to purchase Basic Economy ticket; others pay more to have the ability to chose the seat. Why was it fair to take away the aisle seat of someone for the person who chose the Basic Economy fare?

Entitlement is believing that one’s needs come at the expense or inconvenience of another. Does one get to demand an SUV after paying for a subcompact so the family can be together in the same car?



arttravel Aug 27, 18 11:17 pm


Originally Posted by DiamondInTheRough (Post 30137755)
Am I the only one who is wondering why OP didn't help up their sister, by switching with her? It sounds like OP had seats together. At the very least one adult could have switched with a sister's child, so that the child didn't sit alone.

The undesirable middle seat was likely the reason.

garykung Aug 28, 18 1:20 am

While it is not my intent to pour more gasoline into the fire, indeed OP was wrong, especially with a sense of entitlement.

1. Families Flying Together Act does not exist as a matter of law. Instead, the relevant provision was added as an amendment to the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016.

2. The relevant provision only asked the DOT to "study" the issue and promulgate regulations if needed. DOT can in fact refuse promulgating regulations, but simply study the situation only.

3. Even assuming the regulations exist and that OP's sister-in-law situation as most favorable as possible, still UA can't, as a matter of law, violate the purported regulations. Because OP's sister-in-law purchased BE, the purchasing constituted a waiver of any rights, if ever existed, for the preferred family seating.


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