UM Placed on incorrect flight at EWR

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Old Jul 2, 19, 5:02 am
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UM Placed on incorrect flight at EWR

As the title says, United Unaccompanied Minor was placed on the wrong flight and it wasn't noticed by the airline (Eurowings) until the plane left the gate and was taxiing. I've not sent any of my kids as a UM but surprised me that the mother's communication plan to United was via Twitter. Maybe that was one of many ways she was trying to contact them. I sort of guessed there would be some dedicated phone number for UMs but honestly have never looked into it.

https://simpleflying.com/united-unac...minor-mistake/
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Old Jul 2, 19, 5:21 am
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Wouldn’t SK handle their own UM service? Why was UA involved at all, seeing as UA doesn’t allow connection flights that can’t be it.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 6:14 am
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If the boy was supposed to be on SK904, operated by SAS from Terminal B at EWR, not sure why United was involved here? The article provides little facts to piece the story together. Maybe the boy was on a United flight arrival into Terminal A or C, and connecting to the SAS flight from Terminal B? Eurowings (for LH?) also flies out of Terminal B, where UA has no presence other than arrivals.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 6:30 am
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Another article I read was that the actual itinerary was RDU-EWR-ARN. My guess is that it's equally SK's fault and UA's fault for this. The articles don't state that the teen had special needs, but shouldn't you be able to figure out, at 14, that (Dusseldorf != Stockholm) prior to boarding?
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Old Jul 2, 19, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
The articles don't state that the teen had special needs, but shouldn't you be able to figure out, at 14, that (Dusseldorf != Stockholm) prior to boarding?
I don't know. Maybe a US kid would not know the difference.......It's not like World geography is a big thing in this country. I once met a 19 years old University student who wanted to become a reporter who thought that Egypt was in the South of South America.

And how did the kid board that flight? Was the kid just following a family with many kids?
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Old Jul 2, 19, 7:22 am
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Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
Another article I read was that the actual itinerary was RDU-EWR-ARN. My guess is that it's equally SK's fault and UA's fault for this. The articles don't state that the teen had special needs, but shouldn't you be able to figure out, at 14, that (Dusseldorf != Stockholm) prior to boarding?
What's odd is that he figured it out after boarding, at least according to the story he alerted FAs he was on the wrong flight.

Seems like another "I got on the wrong plane" types of stories, with the UM twist. How did the gate agents allow him on the flight, and did his assigned seat on the SAS flight just happen to be empty on the Eurowings flight? One would thing, especially with heavy Europe loads over the summer, you'd have a seat squabble before pulling back from the gate.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 7:28 am
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The parents probably purchased two tickets - RDU - EWR on UA and then EWR - ARN on SK. They then purchased the UM service for RDU - EWR incorrectly thinking it applied for the whole trip.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 7:41 am
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There's something funny going on here, because UA doesn't do connections for 14 y/o UMs at all, much less interline.

Our unaccompanied minor service is for children who are 5-14 years old and traveling without a parent, legal guardian or someone who is at least 18 years old. These young travelers also need to follow certain requirements for their safety:
- Unaccompanied minors can only travel on nonstop United or United Express® flights. They can’t use our unaccompanied minor service on codeshare flights and other flights operated by our partner airlines.
- United does not offer unaccompanied minor service connecting to or from other airlines' flights.


The article says "so booked United Airlines’ unaccompanied minor service at New York’s Newark Airport" which doesn't make any sense since the flight departing EWR was not on UA. Are the parents and "journalists" just massively confused about SAS UM service?
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Old Jul 2, 19, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by trm2 View Post
The parents probably purchased two tickets - RDU - EWR on UA and then EWR - ARN on SK. They then purchased the UM service for RDU - EWR incorrectly thinking it applied for the whole trip.
Or, you know, not:

The problem here is that their policy required unaccompanied minor status for the boy but the parents had purchased a connecting ticket. Brenda Berg tells me, “We booked through SAS Air and kids his age fly without assistance. We were surprised when we showed up at RDU that United required us to purchase the UM assistance. Our son would have easily made the transfer on his own but he trusted them and went where they told him to go.” She explains “someone from United said ‘we made an exception for you.'”
Source: https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea...wrong-country/
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Old Jul 2, 19, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
What's odd is that he figured it out after boarding, at least according to the story he alerted FAs he was on the wrong flight.

Seems like another "I got on the wrong plane" types of stories, with the UM twist. How did the gate agents allow him on the flight, and did his assigned seat on the SAS flight just happen to be empty on the Eurowings flight? One would thing, especially with heavy Europe loads over the summer, you'd have a seat squabble before pulling back from the gate.
Originally Posted by StuckinITH View Post
I don't know. Maybe a US kid would not know the difference.......It's not like World geography is a big thing in this country. I once met a 19 years old University student who wanted to become a reporter who thought that Egypt was in the South of South America.

And how did the kid board that flight? Was the kid just following a family with many kids?
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
There's something funny going on here, because UA doesn't do connections for 14 y/o UMs at all, much less interline.

Our unaccompanied minor service is for children who are 5-14 years old and traveling without a parent, legal guardian or someone who is at least 18 years old. These young travelers also need to follow certain requirements for their safety:
- Unaccompanied minors can only travel on nonstop United or United Express® flights. They can’t use our unaccompanied minor service on codeshare flights and other flights operated by our partner airlines.
- United does not offer unaccompanied minor service connecting to or from other airlines' flights.


The article says "so booked United Airlines’ unaccompanied minor service at New York’s Newark Airport" which doesn't make any sense since the flight departing EWR was not on UA. Are the parents and "journalists" just massively confused about SAS UM service?
https://www.usatoday.com/story/trave...ht/1616641001/


This article and another one I read explains that United made them purchase a UM service at check-in even though it was on a codeshare. They the agent messed up and didn't check the flight details properly due to some prior gate change, etc and rushed him onto the wrong flight. It was the kid who noticed the incorrect flight details once he was put on board.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 8:27 am
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The boy must have (inadvertently) sneaked on. Wouldn't the bar code reader beeped or not sound at all when (and if) it was scanned?
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:00 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
The boy must have (inadvertently) sneaked on. Wouldn't the bar code reader beeped or not sound at all when (and if) it was scanned?
It should have beeped. But sometimes GAs give people the benefit of the doubt. Last week a man in front of me had a BP beep. The GA almost let him on the flight, thinking that he had simply handed her a BP for one of his other segments that day. Luckily, she quickly corrected that. "Wait, let me see that again..."
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
The boy must have (inadvertently) sneaked on. Wouldn't the bar code reader beeped or not sound at all when (and if) it was scanned?
The UM agent walked him onto the plane
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
Another article I read was that the actual itinerary was RDU-EWR-ARN. My guess is that it's equally SK's fault and UA's fault for this. The articles don't state that the teen had special needs, but shouldn't you be able to figure out, at 14, that (Dusseldorf != Stockholm) prior to boarding?
UA messed up. UA’s contractor at EWR messed up.

SAS saved the day.

viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com has two blog posts about the situation.
Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
The boy must have (inadvertently) sneaked on. Wouldn't the bar code reader beeped or not sound at all when (and if) it was scanned?
There was no sneaking on. The passenger was put on the EWR-DUS flight by UA at EWR and the teenager was instructed by UA to board the wrong plane. It was done in plain sight of UA’s UAM service provider and the gate agents for the EWR-DUS flight with their active assistance despite the teenager wanting to go to Stockholm, not Düsseldorf. The kid eventually made enough of a fuss on the plane during the taxi that the Eurowings pilot decided to return to the gate and offload the passenger so that the kid would not be taken to the wrong destination without legal authority to do so. The kid realized things were off when he heard no Swedish and instead mostly German and English on the plane.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 2, 19 at 10:50 am Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:29 am
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Well, accidents happens, the kid figured it out. No harm no foul.
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