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UM Travel...Outrageous!

Wed Jun 19, 2002 5:57 pm


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).

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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Wed Jun 19, 2002 7:52 pm

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.
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Wed Jun 19, 2002 10:48 pm

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.

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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Thu Jun 20, 2002 7:20 am

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.

Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Thu Jun 20, 2002 9:49 am

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 one will notice or think twice about it.
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Thu Jun 20, 2002 11:25 am

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.
Why would God make us all so different, if He wanted us to be the same?
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Thu Jun 20, 2002 11:36 am

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,

RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Thu Jun 20, 2002 1:46 pm

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.
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Thu Jun 20, 2002 2:15 pm

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

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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Thu Jun 20, 2002 7:51 pm

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.
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Thu Jun 20, 2002 9:44 pm

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.
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Thu Jun 20, 2002 9:57 pm

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.


When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Thu Jun 20, 2002 9:58 pm

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!
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:27 am

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
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:47 am

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,
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:50 am

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) should be their parent's decision since they have known the kid for years, unlike the airline!

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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:52 am

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 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!
Why would God make us all so different, if He wanted us to be the same?
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Fri Jun 21, 2002 11:10 am


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

Nature forms us for ourselves, not for others; to be, not to seem.
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Fri Jun 21, 2002 11:15 am

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.
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Fri Jun 21, 2002 11:17 am

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.)

Nature forms us for ourselves, not for others; to be, not to seem.
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Fri Jun 21, 2002 11:33 am

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 or just call the airline.

Have a good time  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
"If it was cool to be a fool, I'd be the hippest guy around"
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Fri Jun 21, 2002 11:36 am

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"
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Fri Jun 21, 2002 12:24 pm


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.


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


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...)


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,
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Fri Jun 21, 2002 12:46 pm

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!

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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Fri Jun 21, 2002 12:49 pm

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

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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Sat Jun 22, 2002 1:52 am

I went to Continental's website and the first article is about Children traveling alone. Also can be look at

This article is Copyright © 2002 Continental Airlines, Inc.
Unaccompanied Minor Policy
Continental designates children from ages 5-14 as unaccompanied minors when traveling without a companion of at least 18 years of age. This could also include children ages 15-17 traveling alone and for whom the parent or guardian requests special supervision.

These young travelers can be booked via one of the following:

eService Online
Continental Reservations
A U.S. Continental Ticket Office
Your local Travel Agent.
Please note:

Unaccompanied minors under 5 years of age are not accepted
Unaccompanied minors ages 5-7 years accepted for nonstop and direct flights only
Unaccompanied minors ages 8-14 accepted for nonstop, direct and connecting flights
Travel will not be allowed on a Continental flight departing between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless travel is on international flights, flights operating out of Honolulu, or domestic flights of 2 hours or less. Unaccompanied Minors will not be accepted for travel on the last connecting flight of the day to their final destination, or if there is any possibility of a missed connection.
Unaccompanied minors are not accepted on flight numbers between CO4475-CO4499 and CO4700-CO4879, operated by AMTRAK (this is train service) as a part of its codeshare agreement with Continental.
Children traveling unaccompanied pay a full adult fare.
An additional service charge is collected to cover extra handling required when an unaccompanied child travels. Please confirm this charge when placing your reservation.

Domestic Fee:
Domestic fees apply to travel within/between the U.S. (all 50 States), Canada and Mexico.
$40 one-way for nonstop flights
$75 one-way for connecting flights
International Fee:
International fees apply to travel to/from the U.S. (all 50 States), Canada and/or Mexico to any other international destination (including the U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Guam).
$60 one-way for nonstop flights
$90 one-way for connecting flights
The unaccompanied minor service charge may be paid anytime prior to departure at a Continental Airport Ticket Office or Continental Ticket Office facility. It may also be paid at the time of check-in at the airport ticket counter. In addition, Travel Agents may also collect the unaccompanied minor service charges.

Currently, the service charge cannot be collected in association with Continental's Ticket-by-mail service or Electronic ticketing options offered through reservations or while using any of the ticketing products on the Web site.

Can my child travel by himself to International destinations?

Yes, this information is applicable to flights within the United States as well as worldwide. Please verify international documentation requirements for children with your local Continental Airlines Reservations office if your child is traveling to an international destination either with or without you.

Does the airline want any special information?
An airline requires the following information in order to accept an unaccompanied child for travel, and the best time to provide it is when you make your child's reservation:

The name of the person bringing the child to the airport
The home telephone number and address of this person
The name of the person meeting the child
The business and home telephone numbers and home address of this person.
When your child arrives at his destination, the person meeting the child is required to provide positive identification to ensure that they are the person indicated on the Young Traveler form that is attached to the ticket jacket.

What time should I be at the airport?
Allow for at least 30 minutes in addition to the airport processing times shown for your airport. The Airport Service Agent working your child's flight verifies the information in your child's reservation or places the information in the reservation if it's not already there. In addition, the agent completes a Young Traveler form which is paperwork that is attached to your child's ticket jacket.

You will receive a check-point pass which will permit you to pass through security with your child. It is then necessary for you to wait at the gate until the airplane departs.

Unaccompanied children are very special Continental Customers, and we invite them to board ahead of other Customers during priority or courtesy boarding. This extra few minutes on the aircraft prior to everyone else boarding provides the Flight Attendants with the opportunity to:

Personally greet your child
Introduce your child to the cockpit, time permitting (kids love this part)
Take your child to their seat and assist with carry on items
Orient your child to the safety features of the aircraft
Point out lavatory locations.

Can I go onboard with my child?
You'll probably be asked to say goodbye in the terminal area because the jetway and the aircraft are secured areas and access is restricted to ticketed customers only. A Continental employee will escort your child onboard and introduce them to the Flight Attendants. However, don't leave yet! It's a good idea for a parent/guardian to stay at the airport in the immediate gate lobby area until the child's plane takes off. If the aircraft is delayed for any reason, your child may become apprehensive and need your reassurance that all is OK. Now, this is just a suggestion and food for thought. You know your youngster better than anyone. Please don't get too upset if tears start flowing. This is normal. If you react, it may get worse. The best thing to do is hug them tight, tell them you love them and remind them how much fun they're going to have once they get there. It's normal for you to feel a little sad, too. Let me tell you what happens when we reach our destination. We get to see the hugs, the kisses, the laughter and the joy at the other end when they are met. It's the best part, and I wish you could be there to share it with us!

My child is on medication; how is this handled?
Continental employees are not allowed to administer medication to a passenger. If your child has a condition that requires medication, please consult with your physician before making your reservations. They may feel that it would be best to postpone travel until medication is no longer needed and/or they may be able to recommend a different dosage for the day your child travels so that medication is not necessary during the travel period.

What's the Young Traveler Club?

The Young Traveler Clubs provide an enclosed, secured area where unaccompanied children can wait for a connecting flight or to be picked up by the party meeting them. The Clubs are supervised by Continental employees and provide entertainment and snacks for kids who have to "hang" for a while. Television, books, games and toys are available. We don't get many complaints; the kids like the Club atmosphere.

Continental has Club rooms in Cleveland, Houston and Newark that are open year round. The Clubs are staffed by employees with overlapping shifts so more than one person is often on duty during the day. The Continental employee(s) on duty is responsible for:

Coordinating connections
Providing comfort to anyone who needs comforting (a child may become overly concerned if you're running a little late - we know it happens - sometimes our airplanes run a little late, too, and we provide reassurance whenever needed)
Ensuring enough snacks are available
Negotiating differences between children should they arise (we rarely have problems).

Here's how the Club works:

A Continental Representative escorts your child to the Young Traveler Club and turns their ticket over to the Continental employee in the Club.
The employee on duty keeps your child's ticket until either you arrive to pick them up or it's time to go to their connecting flight.

Another Continental Representative will escort your child to their connecting flight at the appropriate time and either actually escort your child on the flight or turn them over to another Continental Representative who will board the child and introduce them to the Flight Attendants working the flight.
Copyright © 2002 Continental Airlines, Inc.

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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Sat Jun 22, 2002 4:10 am

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 cause problems either in the airport or airplane. However, other people your age are not as reliable.

That policy ensures that you get where you are supposed to go, and that if something should happen like a cancellation, or God forbid a national emergency, that you are cared for until you can get to your destination.
Posts: 1903
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Sat Jun 22, 2002 8:15 am

Thanks Neilalp for posting that information...  Smile Now I wonder what airline Continental (the user) would fly if Continental (the airline) doesn't allow 12-14 to fly alone without UM restrictions?


Its $150 roundtrip for connecting flights on NW... $80 roundtrip for non-stop flights. Yeah, I agree some other people my age aren't that reliable, so it should be up to the parent in the end, who knows the kid the best, if they need the UM treatment or not.  Smile


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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Sat Jun 22, 2002 8:19 am

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 children in transit.

I mean, for the right price I’ll fight a lion. - Mike Tyson
Posts: 1903
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Sat Jun 22, 2002 5:09 pm

Just booked it on DL. Saved $100something dollars by doing a redeye the night before too:

"Flight Number: Delta 3565*
Departs: Billings, MT (BIL) Friday 12 Jul 2002 at 0821P
Arrives: Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) Friday 12 Jul 2002 at 0935P
Confirmed Coach/Economy Class Seat(s): 07A

Flight Number: Delta 418
Departs: Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) Friday 12 Jul 2002 at 1155P
Arrives: Atlanta, GA (ATL) Saturday 13 Jul 2002 at 0537A
Confirmed Coach/Economy Class Seat(s): 24F

Flight Number: Delta 4196*
Departs: Atlanta, GA (ATL) Saturday 13 Jul 2002 at 0820A
Arrives: Huntsville, AL (HSV) Saturday 13 Jul 2002 at 0820A
Confirmed Coach/Economy Class Seat(s): 08A

Flight Number: Delta 1794
Departs: Huntsville, AL (HSV) Friday 19 Jul 2002 at 0210P
Arrives: Atlanta, GA (ATL) Friday 19 Jul 2002 at 0406P
Confirmed Coach/Economy Class Seat(s): 27E

Flight Number: Delta 709
Departs: Atlanta, GA (ATL) Friday 19 Jul 2002 at 0525P
Arrives: Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) Friday 19 Jul 2002 at 0712P
Confirmed Coach/Economy Class Seat(s): 40A

Flight Number: Delta 3676*
Departs: Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) Friday 19 Jul 2002 at 0815P
Arrives: Billings, MT (BIL) Friday 19 Jul 2002 at 0929P
Confirmed Coach/Economy Class Seat(s): 07A

Unfortunately I'll still have to wait for an MD-90 ride  Big grin. Oh well... I could have taken one on the way back but it would have been the last connecting flight of the day to BIL, so I didn't want to push my luck. Maybe the CRJ will be overbooked and I'll get lucky!

Thanks for the help everyone. I'm sure I will enjoy DL (first ride on them in like 10 years!)

Red Panda
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Sat Jun 22, 2002 6:46 pm

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 front line agent who escort them would not wanna lose them otherwise they would get into trouble.

Usually all UMs will wear a big sign around their necks, or put a sticker on them for easy identification. UMs are required to sit in designated area when waiting for boarding. They are not allowed" to go around in the airport without escort. Ïf they wanna go to washroom, they have to inform the agent escorting them. The agent will follow them to the washroom as well for the purpose of the UMs' safety. If you are UMs, forget about shopping in duty free shops, watching planes, etc.

UMs pose big possible liability to airlines if something bad happens to them.

rgds//r panda
Posts: 1903
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Sat Jun 22, 2002 6:51 pm

Wow.. glad I picked Delta!

Posts: 1903
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 2:01 pm

RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Sat Jun 22, 2002 6:55 pm

"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 it poses liability issues for the airline.

...Serge  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 8:22 am

RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Sun Jun 23, 2002 5:31 pm

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 my sister got there safely I guess), on Delta it was like $30 for each segment. On Continental we were given rides on those carts thru the concourse in IAH and taken to a play room, which me and my sister (being a tad too old, 14 and 13) opted to just wait at our gate. On Delta we werent given the full treatment (I think my dad put a request to let us be independent), we didnt get tagged and the FA's didnt hold our boarding passes on the plane, although there was an agent waiting for us when we got off the plane in DFW waiting to take us to our connecting gate, but she saw we could make it and just pointed which direction to walk. I think on most airlines if you are under 18 and not travelling with an adult you cannot be booked on the last flight of the day in case something happens and you have to stay overnight by yourself. I cant wait to turn 18 so I can fly when I want and book tickets with my Visa check card over the internet. Me and my sister (Im 17, shes 16 now) fly cross country (RNO- Florida) by ourselves every summer, and we always fly Delta. You made a good decision Serge.
Red Panda
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RE: Serge

Tue Jun 25, 2002 5:17 pm

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/he may even have to pay extra cost to re-book for another flight. But for UMs, it is airline's responsibility to make sure that all UMs are on the flight before it departs.

We does treat our kids more specially. We even call them master.  Wink/being sarcastic

r panda  Smokin cool
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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Tue Jun 25, 2002 10:57 pm

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 Aviation Challenge camp.  Big grin. But other than that, I'm pretty excited to fly a CRJ-700 for the first time (ATL-HSV).  Big thumbs up

Also, something kinda interesting on the way back... The last day of the camp there are ceremonies and NASA asks for everyone to depart after 2:00 PM. I am on the 2:10 PM flight to ATL, which is currently completely full according to the seat mapper online. But its also the last flight of the day that you can pretty much connect to anywhere far away , so everyone from the camp thats flying DL across the county will be on it! (will be cool to fly with my cousins, they don't even know this yet.. they are also flying DL to YOW). I hope that made sense.... Will be weird if DL has to do what someone mentioned up about (charter WN 737 for all UMs for exampl, to replace the 733).

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RE: UM Travel...Outrageous!

Wed Jun 26, 2002 1:37 am


While you're clearly able to handle your own affairs while traveling unaccompanied, many other young travelers are not. Assisting them in the airport requires one or more airline agents to tend to their needs, resulting in added cost to the airline. The solution? Charge a fee for the service.

The problem in allowing each family to determine whether or not their child is competent to travel unaccompanied without assistance is that the airline has to rely solely on the judgment of the parents or guardians of the child...and sometimes, unfortunately, these people are motivated by their desire to save money, and wouldn't think twice about circumventing a UM fee by claiming their 10 year old is well-traveled when he's actually never set foot on a plane in his life, let alone tried connecting in ATL, IAH, DFW, or any other busy airline hub facility.

Since the airlines cannot count on relying on the judgment of the parents or guardians, they must be the final authority on who can travel unaccompanied on their aircraft. The airlines want to create policies that are handled consistently and fairly with all their customers, so the only possible solution is to make the UM service MANDATORY for all UMs, regardless of how well-traveled they may be.

It may seem illogical and even somewhat condescending to you, but from the airline's perspective, they MUST be consistent in their handling of customer service issues such as the transport of UMs.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group

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