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UM Travel...Outrageous!  
User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3888 times:

Hello,

Okay, so I'm going to the NASA Aviation Challenge camp (July 13-19) next month, and my dad said we'll buy the ticket tomorrow. The two choices are Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines, both having "unaccompanied minor" policies. Northwest requires "children" 5-14 to pay $150 round trip EXTRA no matter what! I will be 14 when traveling... what a scam... I consider myself more experienced with flying than a lot of "adults" I have met (believe me).

Delta on the other hand is a little bit less clear on what the deal is.. they say "These unaccompanied service charges also apply to children aged 12-17 when a parent or guardian requests full unaccompanied service.", therefore, I shouldn't have a problem with them should I? What is their minimum UM service? If anyone can clear up the policies of Delta I would much appreciate it.

Anyone have any experiences travelling UM? Do they even enforce it? I have only a few options. Was originally set on traveling from Minot (NW, 2 hour drive from my house) but am seriously considering traveling from Billings (DL, 5 hour drive).

regards,
Serge

36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAdam84 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1400 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3819 times:

Delta's policy pretty much looks like you can request it if you want it.

Northwests UM policy is pretty stupid, technically you are supposed to have your parent come check in with you even if you are 17. Then they ask your guardian/parent if they want to consider you a UM. I had this problem in LAX when I was 16.


User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3788 times:

Yeah, I'll give DL a call in a few and find out more.... Kinda disappointed about NW because I was looking forward to the DC-10 rides betweens hubs (MSP and Memphis). Oh well...It just gets to me sometimes about age differences.

thanks,
Serge


User currently offlineBlink182 From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 1999, 5480 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3697 times:

I will be traveling alone this summer on AA(july 19 and aug 2nd if anybody cares) and they seem pretty loose on it. Technically, I can request it if I want it, but I am over the age limit where it is mandatory. I don't want to request it as I will be flying from my home airport which I know very well, non-stop to a non- AA hub and very small airport. If you can, try AA if you don't mind taking 2 airlines.

blink



Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlineDe727ups From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 814 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3665 times:

I'd say go with NW but don't tell them your age....or if you must, say you are older. I think you could easily pass for being old enough....no one will notice or think twice about it.

User currently offlineAirT85 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3640 times:

I used to fly DL UM all the time when I was little. All they do is have your parent dropping you off sign some paperwork, they take you onto the airplane, hand the FA the paperwork, and tell you they will come get you from your seat when you land. Then the FAs walk you off the airplane and to the awaiting gate agent or your parent, whoever is there first. Then when your parent gets there, they must sign the paper and show ID. Nothing too comlicated. I dont know about fees as i have always been nonrev.
Tony


User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3620 times:

Don: Yeah, I considered doing this but not sure because I need some form of identification? Probably not though... I'll think about it. Theres nothing wrong with saying I am 15  Smile.

Tony: How old were you when you flew DL? Must have been under 12?

NW's DC-10s are tempting... but I wouldn't mind going through DFW via DL as the local FBO's son works for DL there, I might be able to meet him in person.  Smile

thanks guys,
Serge


User currently offlineUAL1837 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3593 times:

I flew United as a UM when I was 13...their rule was if you wanted to, you could pay an extra $30 if you desired any special treatment, such as escort by a CSR in the terminal, etc. Very nice rule.

User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3572 times:

Yeah, UAL is one of my favorite airlines (gotta say, WN and jetBlue rock as well). Too bad they don't serve HSV though :/

regards,
Serge


User currently offlineFlyboy36y From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3039 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3538 times:

About a year agoI flew on AA with a freind. I was 18, he was 17. He was a minor... and I was an 'adult'. The agent seemed very interested in our travel plans untill she saw that it was a short in-state Eagle flight. I think if it had been a longer flight we may have needed some parental concent because it was on my reservation and I THINK that AA's policy is that minor accompanied by non-related adults (on the adults reservation) need special permission from their parents to fly. If that is not the case the tiket agent acted as if it was.

User currently offlineNwa747-400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1337 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3523 times:

The fee is 150 roundtrip for a connection.

The UM is accompanied from gate to airplane, airplane to gate, gate to gate or gate to "worldkids game room" (with movies, playstation, books, etc)if there is a long enough layover, gate to airplane, airplane to gate.

The age limit is wise and is there to ensure that younger fliers are SAFE, ESCORTED, and most importantly WELL CARED FOR in the event of a delay or canceled flight, including a security gaurd based outside of an airline paid for hotel room.

Can you imagine a 14 or even 15 year old on a canceled flight having to arange a hotel, meals, and other complicated travel arrangements.

Also, another good feature is that NW blocks UMs from booking on the last connection flight of the night to try and reduce the chance of having to overnite away from loved ones.

Another good feature of the UM program is requiring who drops the UM to the airport to remain at the airport until the airplane is airborne, incase it was to come back to the gate, then the young flyer is able to be with their loved ones or relatives.

A nonstop flight costs 40 dollars.


User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6768 posts, RR: 76
Reply 11, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3514 times:

This is ridiculous. I travelled as a non UM since I was 14! I hated the UM facilities then at SIN and FRA! When going with CX via HKG, I told the woman there I want to walk around and see planes instead of being stuck in a room. She gave me a id badge just in case and I was free to do whatever I want except for leaving the airport.
At SIN I caused such a fuss about wanting to walk around the airport shops that they called my parents to make sure it was OK. LOL

Once on SK (when I was 15), had severe delays causing me to miss my connection, but the FA came and told me about my rescheduling and asked if I wanted to have an agent to accompany me. I declined but a gate agent met me at CPH and gave me a sheet that if I wanted to take a shower or rest in a quiet room that I can just show up at the UM facilities. Thanks to the comment on the reservation "UM want 2 fly alone. TQ" Booking with MSTR not MR also did the trick on KLM.

Mandala499




When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineDazed767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5490 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3525 times:

Man, I started flying by myself when I was around 14. I know the rules were around back then, but I never had to deal with that crap. Don't like NW take that money, fly DL!

User currently offlineUal777contrail From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3485 times:

not only should you have flown UNITED but you are being ripped off.

UNITED only charges $60.00 dollars round trip and your parents request the service.if you are 14 and you parents think you can handle bein gout in the real world by yourself then you dont need an escort to the next gate.

what have we learned from all this?

always fly UNITED,if you cant fly united fly NORTHWEST.




ual 777 contrail


User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3482 times:

Thanks for the replies guys. Yeah, UA is great, but they don't serve Huntsville (HSV). Otherwise, I would fly them.

I just thought about when I went to SAN from OAK (on WN) with my brother, we bought the tickets seperately. They didn't even ask for a birthdate, what a great airline!

Looks like I'm gonna fly totally free... I reminded my dad about his Amex miles and how they can be applied towards Delta SkyMiles, which he thought was a great idea considering we could save $530  Wow! by sacrificing 25,000 miles.

Lol, I consider myself an experienced traveler for my age, I would never need any of that gate to gate escort crap no matter what. I always grab my boarding passes and stray from my parents when at any airport, and never have missed a flight.

We're gonna book it in a bit on DL as long as the dates and times work out. It should be BIL-SLC-DFW-HSV-ATL-SLC-BIL... looks fun  Smile.

I'll post again when I have the ticket for sure..

thanks again,
Serge


User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3463 times:

and in response to Nwa747-400's post.... Yeah, its a good policy expect for one thing. Its mandatory  Sad. I could understand that some kids may need guidance, but some do not (like me)......it should be their parent's decision since they have known the kid for years, unlike the airline!

regards,
Serge


User currently offlineAirT85 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3479 times:

Serge: I've been flying between atlanta and philadelphia since my parents divorced when i was 5 years old. if my dad couldn't fly up to philly and ly us back down to atlanta, we would fly unaccompanied...so from 5-12 i was UM. Since then i've been a big boy, LOL. infact, tomorrow i fly PHL-CVG-PIT nonrev on DL. 757 and then CRJ. Should be nice!
Tony


User currently offlineHSVXJ From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 228 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3471 times:

Serge,

Being here in HSV, what is probably the UM capital of the world, we know all of this right and left. It's not unusual for us to put 20 UMs on an ARJ (poor Delta, they sometimes get upwards of 80. They've even chartered WN 737s into here just for the UMs.)

I know at 14 how much you want to be let free and roam wild through the airports, but if you're not chaperoned and you get snatched up, guess who gets blamed?

By you statement, it looks like Delta is saying that it is optional at 12 and up. At Northwest, anyone 14 or under it is required. And, unfortunately for you, if you fly with us, we in HSV, being well schooled in the UM rulebook will not waive any policies. Space Camp will give us all of your information beforehand. We will know your age. Don't lie...  Wink/being sarcastic We'll sick the great big blonde-headed blue jumpsuit wearing Space Camp girl on you (you'll know who I'm talking about when you get here...)

I think the high price of the UM program is the same reason a ticket for speeding is 150 dollars. It dosen't reform you, it prevents you from doing it. We don't want people to send their 14 and 8 year olds out flying on their own. But there are circumstances when this can't be avoided. And in those cases, it's time to pay up.

Plus, you get a cute little play room in MEM and more often than not the FA will put you in F class. The Space Camp room here in HSV is kind of boring though. I mean, how many times can you watch Space Camp the Movie bfore absolutely getting sick of it?

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. And have some good fun at Aviation Challenge (a friend of mine is a counselor there.)

PS- I think that we're much friendlier than the Delta people here. We're definitely younger...  Wink/being sarcastic

chRis



Nature forms us for ourselves, not for others; to be, not to seem.
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3450 times:

well kids, it's like this. In the old days mom and pop could put you on a plane and sent you across the country. If you got lost or missed a connection, way back then they held themselves a bit responsible. But something happened starting in the 80's...people became less and less responsible for their mistakes. So...when a kid misses a connection on an airline, mom and dad would SUE THE AIRLINE. The idea was that it would teach the airlines to do a better job of watching their kids. So, the airlines figured if they were now taking on the task of babysitting, they ought to charge for the service. That way, they KNOW who the UM's are and if mom and pop want to put junior on the plane alone and he gets lost...they've no one to blame but themselves.

User currently offlineHSVXJ From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 228 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3461 times:

One more thing...

Delta is called the "Official Airline of Space Camp." I think they have some kind of special deal as far as UMs go coming in for Space Camp or Aviation Challenge. The fee may be lowered or waived completely, I really don't know. Contact them to be sure.

We're mean here at Mesaba and NW, tho. It's pay up or live in the vacuum tube forever (once again, you'll know what I'm talking about when you get here.)

chRis



Nature forms us for ourselves, not for others; to be, not to seem.
User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5632 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3439 times:

There may be cultural factors at play in setting out UM policies. It's commonplace for six-year-olds to ride to school alone on the Tokyo subway. You'd never see that in the United States!


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineVincent32 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3433 times:

Deltas policy on UM's is that under the age of 12 you are considered a UM by the airline and are automatically placed in the care of the FA's and other employees to take care of UM's. The up to age 17 thing is that your parents can request that you be considered a UM. BUT once over the age of 12 DL will give you no problem about flying alone.

On the other hand I'm not exactly sure on NWA policy, try NWA.com or just call the airline.

Have a good time  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3420 times:

AirT85:

Sounds like you must have racked up quite a few FFM when you did those trips?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy. Have fun flying to PIT.

HSVXJ:

I know at 14 how much you want to be let free and roam wild through the airports, but if you're not chaperoned and you get snatched up, guess who gets blamed?

Running "wild" through the airport? I know better than to run wildly around an airport, I stay descreet, especially knowing there are power hungry security officials waiting to take my film (yes, its happened)... Like I said, my parents just give me my boarding passes at an airport and I meet them at the gate/on the plane. Haven't missed any of my 13 commercial flights so far this year... thats odd?

We don't have to worry about anyone snatching me up, like I said, I tend to roam around the airport by myself, and haven't had any encounters with these snatchers EVER.

We don't want people to send their 14 and 8 year olds out flying on their own.

Thats up to you guys than... in other words, I won't be flying NW alone until I'm 15. NW has been a good airline traveling with my parents.. but its just stupid to pay for an unnecessary service.  Smile

I will be sure to fly Delta... where I won't be treated like a kitten.

But anyway, thanks for enlightening me on the polices, I'll be sure to enjoy the camp.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

PROSA:

Yep, I guess theres a lot more trust in neighbors and strangers in Japan (nothing wrong with that). Its a shame my family didn't decide to move there!  Big grin (there was a job position, but you know how it is with relatives being far away...)

Vincent32:

Yeah! A great policy! Thanks for reconfirming it..
----------

Sadly, I called Delta SkyMiles and the lady told me there are no flights available for the whole week I need to travel if you use miles... bah... Looks like we'll end up paying $530 afterall.

thanks for the replies guys,
Serge


User currently offlineContinental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5510 posts, RR: 18
Reply 23, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3406 times:

I'm only 15, and for the past 3 years, I have flown by myself! See, 12+ is considered an adult ticket, I just buy that, check in and go to the gate and I'm on! Nowadays, my parents just drop me off at the top of the terminal, and I do it all by myself, it has become a routine thing for me!

Continental


User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (12 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3402 times:

I take it you fly Continental Continental? Or what airline do you usually fly?

regards,
Serge


25 Neilalp : I went to Continental's website and the first article is about Children traveling alone. Also can be look at www.continental.com This article is Copyr
26 Braniff727 : I think that $40 is perfectly fair, as do I think it's fair to make it mandatory. Serge, I'm sure being the aviation enthusiast you are, would not cau
27 Post contains images Serge : Thanks Neilalp for posting that information... Now I wonder what airline Continental (the user) would fly if Continental (the airline) doesn't allow 1
28 Mlsrar : I'm honestly surprised that Delta still has maintained the rather relaxed policies about UMs in light of the past years' fiasco with HP losing their c
29 Post contains images Serge : Just booked it on DL. Saved $100something dollars by doing a redeye the night before too: "Flight Number: Delta 3565* Departs: Billings, MT (BIL) Frid
30 Red Panda : If there is anyone wanna travel as UM ( or want their kids travel as ums), then all standard UM procedures must follow no matter how old they are. The
31 Serge : Wow.. glad I picked Delta! regards, Serge
32 Post contains images Serge : "UMs pose big possible liability to airlines if something bad happens to them." Its not only UMs might I add... If anything happens to ANY passenger i
33 Deltajax : I have flown UM on Continental (when it was mandatory because of my age) and Delta (even though I was older than 12, my dad wanted to make sure me and
34 Post contains images Red Panda : But usually, especially in America, ppl care about their kids more than a normal adult. If an adult missed a flight, it is their own responsibility. S
35 Post contains images Serge : Sounds good Deltajax, I think I made a good decision too! Only thing I am only a tad bit worried about is the redeye, and getting enough sleep for the
36 EA CO AS : Serge, While you're clearly able to handle your own affairs while traveling unaccompanied, many other young travelers are not. Assisting them in the a
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