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United Splitting up Families (Basic Economy ticket)

United Splitting up Families (Basic Economy ticket)

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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:16 pm
  #121  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
UA should block off seats at the back of the airplane for assignment at the gate, which would limit this sort of problem.
They do. A number of seats are held for assignment at the airport to accomodate families, disabled passengers, and other issues. On most flights, that is enough to resolve such seating issues as was the case on the OP's second leg.

For whatever reason, it isn't always enough. There will always be situations where all of these passenger needs can't be addressed with the remaining open and blocked seats and it isn't only because of BE fares. Airplane swaps, misconnects, flight cancellations, and other unrelated (to BE) issues can result in these seating issues where the agent is left with no options short of moving other passengers who already have their assigned seats.

There are steps that a passenger can take at booking to minimize the chances of being caught in this situation but, even that, isn't guaranteed as cancellations, misconnects, etc., can disrupt the plan.

The airline could block even more seats from assignment, and maybe they should. That would reduce the frequency of such problems but they'll still occur. I have no idea what the proper amount of block seats would be and what the impact of the reduction is seats available for pre-selection would be on other passengers. You wouldn't want to overdo it and end up with a lot of passenger who needlessly have to wait to have their seats assigned at the gate.

The only way to guarantee that these situations will not go unresolved is to allow the gate agents to unseat other passengers in order to keep families together. Is that what we want? How would it be limited and controlled? What would be owed to the displaced passengers?
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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:16 pm
  #122  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Yes.

Enough of the mommy society.
ya young children, pregnant, elderly, disabled - why should we give them any free favors?.. enough mommy society indeed!
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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:24 pm
  #123  
 
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Why should families have to pay more so they can sit together? It is all in the name of profit. More seats at the back should be assigned at boarding.

I do not want some stranger sitting beside and potentially having to look after my young kids. Too many crazies out there

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 28, 18 at 12:44 pm Reason: discuss the issue;not the poster(s)
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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:25 pm
  #124  
 
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
like disabilities? clearly they can be a safety hazard..
In the post you quoted, you highlighted "medical issues". It's not people with disabilities, it's people with medical issues. On a flight on USAirways, after we boarded the flight FCO-PHL, the FAs realized that the passenger behind me had a medical issue and his medication was in his luggage in the hold. After further investigation, the captain decided that he needed a note from that passenger' doctor to make sure that it was safe for him to fly. Both that passenger and his wife were asked to leave the plane. The whole thing started with the refusal of that passenger to put his seat in the upright position for take-off.
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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:29 pm
  #125  
 
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Originally Posted by LarryJ View Post
They do. A number of seats are held for assignment at the airport to accomodate families, disabled passengers, and other issues. On most flights, that is enough to resolve such seating issues as was the case on the OP's second leg.
Well, they don't really, though. I just pulled up a seat map for a mainline narrowbody scheduled for April. (The weird 8F "738"). There are 6 seats listed as occupied -- 7DE, 23BC, and 25BC. Even 7F is available. So, assuming all six of those seats are held for gate assignment, the best that they can do is seat pairs of people -- and not very many, either.

What I'm suggesting is that they block rows 36-38 entirely, for example.They would then be able to assign those seats at check-in or at the gate, with preference going to groups.
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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:37 pm
  #126  
 
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Originally Posted by StuckinITH View Post
In the post you quoted, you highlighted "medical issues". It's not people with disabilities, it's people with medical issues. On a flight on USAirways, after we boarded the flight FCO-PHL, the FAs realized that the passenger behind me had a medical issue and his medication was in his luggage in the hold. After further investigation, the captain decided that he needed a note from that passenger' doctor to make sure that it was safe for him to fly. Both that passenger and his wife were asked to leave the plane. The whole thing started with the refusal of that passenger to put his seat in the upright position for take-off.
not sure why a refusal to follow crew instruction is brought up as an analogy - the issue in question here is that the airline should not attempt to charge parent extra in order to sit with his or her small child...

this does not make it a "mommy society" as some noted - but a society that doesn't take advantage of those in need
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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:40 pm
  #127  
 
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The mistake made was booking Basic Economy. Ok, it is a rookie error, but I can't blame the OP's family member for that. There are a lot of rookies out there and rookie errors are made every day.

"Basic Economy" essentially means "take what you get". That means it is not designed for people, who have individual needs, for example, being seated next to children, etc.

Basic Economy is designed for college students and people like me (40yo semi-retirees who just want to get where they are going).

If you care where and with whom you are seated, then Basic Economy is a bad idea.

If you want (or need) to be seated next to a child (or anyone else you care about), then pay the $20 or so (about 3 beers), to book advance seat assignments.
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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:46 pm
  #128  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post

What I'm suggesting is that they block rows 36-38 entirely, for example.They would then be able to assign those seats at check-in or at the gate, with preference going to groups.
At the gate would be better since some passengers can check in way earlier if they have a connection. Like that, the gate agent can asses the situation and see which group they should prioritize for those seats: friends wanting to travel together, no; families with small kids, yes. Then if there are no families with small kids, friends traveling together could get those seats.
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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:49 pm
  #129  
 
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Originally Posted by StuckinITH View Post
At the gate would be better since some passengers can check in way earlier if they have a connection. Like that, the gate agent can asses the situation and see which group they should prioritize for those seats: friends wanting to travel together, no; families with small kids, yes. Then if there are no families with small kids, friends traveling together could get those seats.
I was trying to steer clear of the prioritization discussion. Ideally, they'd block off enough seats to accommodate all group bookings without assigned seats. They'll never get to 100%, but they could develop a heuristic as to how many seats to block on what flight.
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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:50 pm
  #130  
 
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Originally Posted by omaralt View Post
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.
This logic is completely problematic. As others point out, Expedia has made it clear about BE, as well as UA, so the purported assumption does not even exist.

Originally Posted by omaralt View Post
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?
Originally Posted by HoustonConsultant View Post
In a better world, United wouldn't sell BE to people with kids under some specific age (that would undoubtedly piss off some people because that age would be wrong for some family's situation and kid).
This actually makes it worse.

Even the existing federal does not prohibit, what you are suggesting is the textbook definition of age discrimination.

I concede it does not make sense. However - don't forget a minor does not have the ability to even purchase a ticket. So shouldn't parents be more responsible in this case?

Originally Posted by HoustonConsultant View Post
can you imagine the lawsuit if something happened to that child during the flight?
The parent get charged? FWIW - You can throw UA under the bus anytime you want. The reality remains simple - the parent bought the wrong kind of tickets and failed to pay attention. So blaming UA isn't really the answer here.

Originally Posted by HoustonConsultant View Post
common sense needs to prevail here;
Another contradicting logic - we are not living in a world of common sense. In fact - when you mention "lawsuit", it is a straightly black-and-white situation - UA does not force the parent to buy BE. Instead, the parent bought the wrong kind of tickets and failed to pay attention. UA simply fulfilled its obligation for the tickets.

Originally Posted by HoustonConsultant View Post
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
There is something known as UM - minor sitting alone is simply unavoidable.

Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
I am embarrassed to read the replies here. People seem to sincerely believe that a kid sitting with mother is a luxury and mother needs to pay extra for it...
You can be embarrassed as much as you want. The problem remains simple - 1) UA does not force the parent to buy BE. The parent did it herself. 2) UA simply fulfilled its obligation for the tickets.

I would be embarrassed as well if the parent bought a regular ticket and was forced to spit with the children. But simply this is not the case.

All alone this was a voluntary action by the parent.
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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:52 pm
  #131  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I was trying to steer clear of the prioritization discussion. Ideally, they'd block off enough seats to accommodate all group bookings without assigned seats. They'll never get to 100%, but they could develop a heuristic as to how many seats to block on what flight.
I would say that then they need more than 3 rows. For some destinations, I guess they would need 10 rows.
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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:56 pm
  #132  
 
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Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
Um, on the first flight, the child was seated directly behind the mom and other child. That wasn’t good enough. They wanted a row to themselves.
Being seated directly behind the mom and the other child would satisfy the policies of Easy Jet quoted above, as well as BA, if not other European carriers.
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Old Aug 28, 18, 1:05 pm
  #133  
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Originally Posted by businessguy View Post
Why should families have to pay more so they can sit together? It is all in the name of profit. More seats at the back should be assigned at boarding.

I do not want some stranger sitting beside and potentially having to look after my young kids. Too many crazies out there
Last time I looked, UA is a for-profit corporation with a fiduciary duty to its shareholders who include retired law enforcement, firefighters, and school teachers.

While it may be all the rage to criticize making money, there is more than one way to look at this.

Besides, it is simply unfair. Families who choose to book BE fares get seats assigned for free while single people don't? What about couples who wish they could have kids but can't? What about families where the child died? Where do you draw the line?
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Old Aug 28, 18, 1:33 pm
  #134  
 
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
This logic is completely problematic. As others point out, Expedia has made it clear about BE, as well as UA, so the purported assumption does not even exist.
.
I'm not sure why you are quoting my comment when I'm the one agreeing with you, but I'll be really pedantic here:

"textbook definition of age discrimination."...it would be almost he opposite of a text book case since age discrimination is specified at 40 and over, not any particular age and under.

Originally Posted by businessguy View Post
I do not want some stranger sitting beside and potentially having to look after my young kids. Too many crazies out there
This is true. There are lots of crazy kids out there.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 28, 18 at 1:48 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Aug 28, 18, 1:58 pm
  #135  
 
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Originally Posted by businessguy View Post
Why should families have to pay more so they can sit together? It is all in the name of profit. More seats at the back should be assigned at boarding.

I do not want some stranger sitting beside and potentially having to look after my young kids. Too many crazies out there
To destinations such as Orlando, that might require all of Economy, both e- and e+, and even then it might still be problem. Mom should book properly, not assume it will work out at the expense of others.
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