User avatar
NeBaNi
Topic Author
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:45 am

United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:07 pm

So, according to this article, a family had paid for Economy+ with seats together on DEN-LHR but they claim they were downgraded to Economy and split up throughout the cabin, with the children being placed separately from the parents throughout the cabin.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/stunned-parents-told-cant-sit-16046546

According to the family:
"We had paid for upgrades so we could all sit together but some of us were sat in normal economy," said Lois, who works in social media and marketing.

"There was no way our kids were going to be say away from us. I said 'I don't care where you sit us but you have to sit us together'.

"The manager just didn't care. She said it didn't work like that. She said there were no rules about minors having to sit with their parents."

and
"I told the manager that there could have been a paedophile sat next to my two-year-old for all we knew.

"She said 'that hardly ever happens here'."


I checked on United's website about its family seating policy, which says:
United strives to seat children under age 15 with an accompanying adult family member.

To have the best likelihood of children being seated with an accompanying adult, we recommend booking early and selecting seat assignments when you book. You can select seats through united.com, the United app or your travel agent. There may be additional charges for seat assignments depending on which cabin you select. Customers with Basic Economy tickets cannot make complimentary seat selections but may be able to purchase advance seat assignments. If it’s important for your family to sit together, you may want to consider purchasing advance seat assignments, if available, or selecting a different fare option.

If you don’t select your seats in advance, we’ll do our best to find adjoining seats for your family on the same reservation in the cabin you booked a few days before your flight departs. However, available seats may be limited at that time and your family or group may be split. While we strive to seat your family together, seat selections are not guaranteed and may be changed, including in the event of an aircraft substitution.

Source: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/special-needs/infants.html

A United spokesperson had this to say:
A spokeswoman for United said the family were given Economy Plus tickets as a complimentary gesture and that adjustments were made to their reservations - including a name change - which impacted seat assigment.

She said: "Due to a lack of seven available seats together on the flight from Denver to London, our customer service agents offered alternative flight arrangements.

"We re-booked these customers on the first available flight that offered seats together and provided hotel and meal vouchers.

"We continue to remain in contact with our customers to resolve this issue."


But the family
said they were not given a complimentary upgrade and that the family has proof of paying for the upgrade.


--------------------------------------
So, what gives? The family paid for Economy+ and seats together, yet United downgraded them (understandable, maybe equipment change?), but still could not accommodate them together, was very casual about letting 2-,4-,and 6-year olds stay away from parents next to strangers on a long-haul flight. It also took 3 days for United to finally find a flight that could seat them together, even though the family offered t o sit in Economy if they were together? Aren't UA agents able to offer seat reassignments? I'm sure plenty of passengers sitting in Economy would have been happy to move to Economy+ so that a family could sit together?

I'd also like to keep the discussion to this incident and general family seating policies please. I did not create this thread to bash United, but rather to talk about this specific incident and to understand family seating policies, as well as customer service practices to accommodate families.
 
OB1504
Posts: 3648
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:10 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:16 pm

Of course, if United had forcibly reseated other passengers so that this family could sit together, there’d be another story in the media about United kicking someone out of their seat again.
 
Deltabravo1123
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:32 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:19 pm

Some will say it shouldn't matter and that the family isn't telling the whole story, but I give these people the benefit of the doubt. I guarantee that this happens more often than we hear about it.

Not sure what the FAA could do about occurrences like this, but there should be some way to enforce a rule and ensure that families with young children are not split up when they were originally booked together. It's different if they'd booked at the last minute without grouped seats, and just went in hoping that they'd be able to get their seats changed, but they seem to have been screwed over big time - especially considering the fact that they paid for an upgrade and still experienced that type of situation. In today's world, even in a small tube in the sky, nobody can say for certain what type of sick people are potentially going to be next to a child (15 years or younger) who's seated away from their guardian/parents. Anything can happen, and precautionary measures need to be put in place.

This happened to my brother and I years ago, and the Northwest flight attendants did everything they could to make sure that we sat with either my mom or dad. If only every airline worker were that concerned and considerate...
 
N867DA
Posts: 1112
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 12:53 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:27 pm

Charging for seat selection has always seemed like a cheap ploy by airlines. Guess it backfired on United this time.
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
 
Blockplus
Posts: 86
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:29 pm

Easier than pie . Seat the 2 yr old in the seat and walk away... crying will commence and a seat will become available. I have used this tactic. It works.
 
planecane
Posts: 1070
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:58 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:31 pm

Deltabravo1123 wrote:
Some will say it shouldn't matter and that the family isn't telling the whole story, but I give these people the benefit of the doubt. I guarantee that this happens more often than we hear about it.

Not sure what the FAA could do about occurrences like this, but there should be some way to enforce a rule and ensure that families with young children are not split up when they were originally booked together. It's different if they'd booked at the last minute without grouped seats, and just went in hoping that they'd be able to get their seats changed, but they seem to have been screwed over big time - especially considering the fact that they paid for an upgrade and still experienced that type of situation. In today's world, even in a small tube in the sky, nobody can say for certain what type of sick people are potentially going to be next to a child (15 years or younger) who's seated away from their guardian/parents. Anything can happen, and precautionary measures need to be put in place.

This happened to my brother and I years ago, and the Northwest flight attendants did everything they could to make sure that we sat with either my mom or dad. If only every airline worker were that concerned and considerate...


In order to know if the customers are telling the truth, they would have to publicly show all of the booking confirmations. While United may not be completely truthful on everything, I don't think they would publicly say that the re-booked the family on another flight and gave them hotel and meal vouchers if they didn't do it.
 
dmstorm22
Posts: 520
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:49 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:31 pm

I feel like there's a whole lot of info (on all sides) missing in this story.

It's written like a classic Mirror article.
 
WorldFlier
Posts: 314
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:10 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:34 pm

Blockplus wrote:
Easier than pie . Seat the 2 yr old in the seat and walk away... crying will commence and a seat will become available. I have used this tactic. It works.



If the baby was next to me, I would trade seats immediately for 2 reasons:

1) Crying baby
2) I am *NOT* touching the baby to try to calm it down....for about 28 different reasons that you can all surmise (I am male, in case you were wondering)
3) It's the right thing to do

Not in that order.
 
User avatar
ikolkyo
Posts: 2646
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:43 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:35 pm

Probably pretty often but because it’s UA it’s in the media....
 
ethernal
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 12:09 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:40 pm

There are plenty of logistical reasons to encourage families to sit together. A 3 year old is not going to be great managing to eat, go to the bathroom, and so on very well on his or her own.

The pedophile argument is just blatant sensationalism. The people the child is traveling with is far and away more likely to be abusing the child than a random stranger. Using the logic of "fear of pedophiles", we should actually separate children from their parents, relatives, and family friends for their own protection.
 
ordbosewr
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:30 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:43 pm

I am not sure how a rule like is being proposed could be implemented in a reasonable manner. It could cause chaos at the gate and more stories of people being moved by the airline(s). I can't believe on anet these stories would be well received to see single business travelers getting moved to satisfy this rule (this is my favorite seat and I am always in seat X, I booked it back in XYZ).

Do I understand and have empathy for the situation, absolutely, I am a parent of 4 children and have taken numerous flights on UA with all of them at the same ages highlighted.
I never experienced the situation highlighted, one question that the article did not mention, was there a plane change that caused this chaos?
We have bought up to E+ to make life easier and having 4 kids it means 2 full rows of 3, but that can be hard to get.. The earlier you book the better and then constantly check UA to ensure that seats are still the same.
IMHO, if you get to the airport and see your seats have changed, something happened and it is not good because once you get to the seats being in airport control the options become more limited and much harder to get full rows can be really really hard.
I realize I am posting on anet and we are all probably more seasoned travelers, but if anything is so important to you then you need to get educated and involved in whatever it is. For this story it means, checking and re-checking the seats as you get closer to the flight..
I have the app and always check the app for my upcoming flights that involve my kids, maybe I am different.
 
DenverTed
Posts: 247
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:12 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:45 pm

Basically, the policy is that if there is an equipment change, a young child, say 2 to 6 will have to sit by themselves with no other option like a voucher and the next flight?
 
klakzky123
Posts: 653
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:05 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 5:59 pm

Its not directly related to this but agents have lost a lot of power to make decisions at the airport and concurrently pay and professionalization of agents has gone backwards for decades. And those two trends have made these sorts of scenarios more likely to happen. If you make agents powerless and then employ low wage contract workers, you're bound to create these sorts of scenarios. And that's probably good for the bottom line but from a passenger perspective, its really unfortunate.
 
ltbewr
Posts: 14234
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 6:00 pm

Of course when people book the seats for their kids, they buy the cheapest ones even if scattered and expect the airline to accommodate them together, even if involves more expensive seats than booked or bumping those that paid more for a particular seat. I am a single older male, I don't want the responsibility of caring for someone's kid - that is the parent's duty. There needs to be ways to better accommodate family groups as to seat pricing at initial booking so don't have the hassles later and delaying a flight.
 
Ziyulu
Posts: 618
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:35 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 6:00 pm

When I was a kid, somehow I ended up in an exit row seat and the flight attendant wanted someone to trade with me.
 
Elementalism
Posts: 429
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:03 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 6:16 pm

Easy, family show proof they paid for economy+. I suspect since United said they upgraded them it didnt happen. They went cheap and for some reason thought it was upto the airline to fix the problem not enough seats next to each other.

We will see.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 13904
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 6:26 pm

klakzky123 wrote:
Its not directly related to this but agents have lost a lot of power to make decisions at the airport and concurrently pay and professionalization of agents has gone backwards for decades. And those two trends have made these sorts of scenarios more likely to happen. If you make agents powerless and then employ low wage contract workers, you're bound to create these sorts of scenarios. And that's probably good for the bottom line but from a passenger perspective, its really unfortunate.


This is correct. I had a bad experience with DL at LAX last summer. Thanks to an AA cancellation (big shocker, I know), we booked LAX-OGG on about 24 hours notice for our family of four. We initially didn't have seats, and for some reason when the 752 was upgraded to a 753, we still couldn't pick seats on the app. The computer assigned us two seats together and then an aisle and middle a row apart--workable but not ideal. When I approached the agent, asked for seats together, and offered to buy EC or C+ (I can't remember which it was) to secure seats togehter, he did nothing. The best thing about it was the horror of the captain, who was standing at the podium awaiting paperwork, when the agent blew off my offer to give DL more money.

The end of the story was great for my kids, who earned a lengthy cockpit visit because of the pilot's confusion at the agent's behavior, and just odd for me. I took the middle and the aisle and window passengers deboarded and bought themselves upgrades into EC/C+, which they said cost them $100 each. The airplane left with about 8 empty EC/C+ seats.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
User avatar
TVNWZ
Posts: 2196
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:28 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 6:32 pm

Cubsrule wrote:

This is correct. I had a bad experience with DL at LAX last summer. Thanks to an AA cancellation (big shocker, I know), we booked LAX-OGG on about 24 hours notice for our family of four. We initially didn't have seats, and for some reason when the 752 was upgraded to a 753, we still couldn't pick seats on the app. The computer assigned us two seats together and then an aisle and middle a row apart--workable but not ideal. When I approached the agent, asked for seats together, and offered to buy EC or C+ (I can't remember which it was) to secure seats togehter, he did nothing. The best thing about it was the horror of the captain, who was standing at the podium awaiting paperwork, when the agent blew off my offer to give DL more money.

The end of the story was great for my kids, who earned a lengthy cockpit visit because of the pilot's confusion at the agent's behavior, and just odd for me. I took the middle and the aisle and window passengers deboarded and bought themselves upgrades into EC/C+, which they said cost them $100 each. The airplane left with about 8 empty EC/C+ seats.


I think with Delta it is an IT thing. Any change in equipment sets off a seat lottery done with bouncing balls in a cage. It just appears to me, the gate agents just don't want to deal with it because it happens all the time. So, you get the standard, "nothing I can do" response.
 
YYZYYT
Posts: 1026
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:41 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 6:36 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

This is correct. I had a bad experience with DL at LAX last summer. Thanks to an AA cancellation (big shocker, I know), we booked LAX-OGG on about 24 hours notice for our family of four. We initially didn't have seats, and for some reason when the 752 was upgraded to a 753, we still couldn't pick seats on the app. The computer assigned us two seats together and then an aisle and middle a row apart--workable but not ideal. When I approached the agent, asked for seats together, and offered to buy EC or C+ (I can't remember which it was) to secure seats togehter, he did nothing. The best thing about it was the horror of the captain, who was standing at the podium awaiting paperwork, when the agent blew off my offer to give DL more money.

The end of the story was great for my kids, who earned a lengthy cockpit visit because of the pilot's confusion at the agent's behavior, and just odd for me. I took the middle and the aisle and window passengers deboarded and bought themselves upgrades into EC/C+, which they said cost them $100 each. The airplane left with about 8 empty EC/C+ seats.


I think with Delta it is an IT thing. Any change in equipment sets off a seat lottery done with bouncing balls in a cage. It just appears to me, the gate agents just don't want to deal with it because it happens all the time. So, you get the standard, "nothing I can do" response.


lol, see my reply above - not just equipment changes.
 
cledaybuck
Posts: 1516
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:07 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 6:38 pm

ltbewr wrote:
There needs to be ways to better accommodate family groups as to seat pricing at initial booking so don't have the hassles later and delaying a flight.
There is, but airlines can't extort more money out of families then.
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
cledaybuck
Posts: 1516
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:07 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 6:45 pm

ordbosewr wrote:
it means, checking and re-checking the seats as you get closer to the flight..
I have the app and always check the app for my upcoming flights that involve my kids, maybe I am different.
The fact that you have to do this is the problem. When I buy tickets to a game or a concert, I don't have to recheck over and over to make sure my seats haven't changed. It may have been different when everyone could select a seat for free, but now that airlines are charging you to pick a seat, people expect that they will get that seat (and they should). Period.
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
User avatar
TVNWZ
Posts: 2196
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:28 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 6:59 pm

YYZYYT wrote:


Think of it this way: consider the effort that airlines take to watch over UMs (which is - in part - to ensure that no-one interferes with them in their seat, when they're 16.5 inches from the passenger in the next seat over). They charge a fee for it, dedicate resources and put age limits on UMs. Now, you separate a family like this on a large airplane and you have just created 3 UMs (who the FAs have not been briefed to expect). And one of them is 2 y o toddler, who likely need constant (hands-on) supervision to make sure they stay seated and strapped in properly ... so yes, there is a serious safety issue in play.

I understand the desire to squeeze revenue by selling seat selection, but this is not acceptable. There should be a rule that children must be seated with an adult member of their family on the same booking, and if airlines can't or won't make it happen then it should be regulated (since common sense in the airline industry is spotty at best).


I like this take.
 
axio
Posts: 252
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:44 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 7:14 pm

We had friends experience something similar with United from SFO-AKL where, because they hadn't paid to seat select, they had three random seats and their seven year-old was thus separated until other passengers offered to make swaps. To me this kind of behavior from the airline is tantamount to blackmail: pay to pick your seats or who knows where your child will be!

It should be banned by whomever can take regulatory responsibility and tickets that are booked together should be seated together (I'm assuming you can't book a child ticket if there's no adult traveling with them) regardless. Lufthansa managed it fine for us recently (thankfully, as their seat selection prices are astronomical), but then the one senses EU carriers know their government is quite capable of acting in consumers' interests should the airlines start doing things quite so silly.
Time for a new viewing deck at AKL!
 
User avatar
airzim
Posts: 1413
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2001 7:40 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 7:27 pm

This story is total BS. Loved the “Americanphile” dig. Sensationalism at its finest. With the accompanying photo of a well behaved happy family. Hmm

When this happens, all you have to do is politely ask folks on the plane if people are willing to swap seats. Most people are very accommodating and will move. Or at least put that family in smaller groups of 2-3.

Staying an extra 3 days seems suspicious. They must have been verbally abusive to the United staff, drunk, or both.
 
FlyingElvii
Posts: 368
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 7:31 pm

OB1504 wrote:
Of course, if United had forcibly reseated other passengers so that this family could sit together, there’d be another story in the media about United kicking someone out of their seat again.

Exactly right. Want your kids with you? PAY FOR IT....
 
speedbird52
Posts: 763
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:30 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 7:39 pm

United could waterboard a disabled child on a flight and people here would still find a way to justify it
 
Bradin
Posts: 286
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:12 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 7:44 pm

This looks like a classic case of where programmers or system design analysts do not think of all the use cases or are inexperienced with cultural nuisances or travel industry

We already collect information such as date of birth and gender as part of booking a ticket.
 
Elementalism
Posts: 429
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:03 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 8:02 pm

Bradin wrote:
This looks like a classic case of where programmers or system design analysts do not think of all the use cases or are inexperienced with cultural nuisances or travel industry

We already collect information such as date of birth and gender as part of booking a ticket.


This system is not designed by programmers and systems designs. These systems are designed by marketing and finance. Programmers and systems designers take their requirements and put them into production.
 
N867DA
Posts: 1112
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 12:53 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 8:04 pm

cledaybuck wrote:
ltbewr wrote:
There needs to be ways to better accommodate family groups as to seat pricing at initial booking so don't have the hassles later and delaying a flight.
There is, but airlines can't extort more money out of families then.


All that needs to be said, really. This problem is 100% the airline's own doing.

If there's a child whose age is less than say 12 or 14, then passengers on that reservation can pick any 'basic' economy seat or pay for a premium offering. The airline is in the position to avoid seating mishaps while maintaining the ability to upsell. Customers who split families across multiple reservations could get impacted but they should still be able to guarantee an adult sits close to each child.
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
 
airbazar
Posts: 9614
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 8:15 pm

ltbewr wrote:
Of course when people book the seats for their kids, they buy the cheapest ones even if scattered and expect the airline to accommodate them together, even if involves more expensive seats than booked or bumping those that paid more for a particular seat.

For starters it's a safety and legal issue. Do you want to be responsible and accountable for someone else's children in the event of a depressurization or evacuation? What is the first thing you hear in the safety briefing before every flight? "Put the mask on you first before putting it on your children", or something to that effect. That child sitting next to you essentially becomes your responsibility for the duration of the flight. I don't know any sane adult who'd want to take on this responsibility.
Secondly, do you really want a crying baby next to you on a red-eye while the parents snooze away peacefully 5 rows ahead? What about a kid with soiled diapers?
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 1165
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 8:16 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
OB1504 wrote:
Of course, if United had forcibly reseated other passengers so that this family could sit together, there’d be another story in the media about United kicking someone out of their seat again.

Exactly right. Want your kids with you? PAY FOR IT....

Then, the airline is legally responsible for the child. Meaning, as others have mentioned, constant supervision for a 2 year old.
 
airbazar
Posts: 9614
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 8:22 pm

ltbewr wrote:
Of course when people book the seats for their kids, they buy the cheapest ones even if scattered and expect the airline to accommodate them together, even if involves more expensive seats than booked or bumping those that paid more for a particular seat.

For starters it's a safety and legal issue. Do you want to be responsible and accountable for someone else's children in the event of a depressurization or evacuation? What is the first thing you hear in the safety briefing before every flight? "Put the mask on you first before putting it on your children", or something to that effect. That child sitting next to you essentially becomes your responsibility for the duration of the flight. I don't know any sane adult who'd want to take on this responsibility.
Secondly, do you really want a crying baby next to you on a red-eye while the parents snooze away peacefully 5 rows ahead? What about a kid with soiled diapers?

I'm the parent of a now 15 yo kid but he;s been traveling since he was 3 months old. A carrier once tried to pull this on us and we were ok with it. You should have seen that look of terror on the 2 passenger when they realized they would have a unaccompanied child sitting with them for 7 hours on a flight from BOS to AMS. They jumped out and offered their seats so fast I didn't even have to ask LOL
 
ei146
Posts: 246
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:54 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 8:24 pm

N867DA wrote:
All that needs to be said, really. This problem is 100% the airline's own doing.

If there's a child whose age is less than say 12 or 14, then passengers on that reservation can pick any 'basic' economy seat or pay for a premium offering. The airline is in the position to avoid seating mishaps while maintaining the ability to upsell. Customers who split families across multiple reservations could get impacted but they should still be able to guarantee an adult sits close to each child.


I agree to that 100%.
Of course I buy the cheapest ticket when traveling with family. Otherwise I could not afford it. Because I have to buy 4 tickets, not only one. And I have to pay myself for them and can't file an expense report to my company.
I consider it criminal if the booking system seperates us on purpose to sell seat reservations.
 
S0Y
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:25 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 8:39 pm

Amazingly FR have this figured out. If travelling with a minor you are forced to pay for seat selection for the adult at booking ($5 or something IIRC). The child is then assigned the adjacent seat free of charge. You leave feeling you got a fair deal and are happy. Again this is FR !!!
 
ei146
Posts: 246
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:54 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 8:41 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
Want your kids with you? PAY FOR IT....

Child abduction is a crime in most societies.
Requesting extra money to not be seperated can be seen is a threat of child abduction, coercion, also a crime in most societies.
 
ei146
Posts: 246
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:54 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 8:48 pm

S0Y wrote:
Amazingly FR have this figured out. If travelling with a minor you are forced to pay for seat selection for the adult at booking ($5 or something IIRC). The child is then assigned the adjacent seat free of charge. You leave feeling you got a fair deal and are happy. Again this is FR !!!


I still don't understand how they get away with that. On the other hand travelling with family I have to bite so many bullets. Things I just would not accept on my businees trips. But I do it because I have the kids with me...
 
Kno
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 8:51 pm

I don’t trust this poorly written sensationalist article and I don’t think we have enough information to determine what actually happened and whose fault it really is.
 
User avatar
FredrikHAD
Posts: 430
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:44 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 9:03 pm

Who would be responsible for making sure the 2 year old toddler stays in the seat during t/o and landing? (Assuming paid seats and family split up by crew.) I can easily imagine a 2 yo getting out of the seat just like that.
 
strfyr51
Posts: 3885
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 9:20 pm

The Story is fishy on it's face!! More than Likely? The Parents either booked at the last minute? Were using award Miles to fly? Or wanted a certain flight that was already booked! I was traveling with my wife recently and had an aisle seat while my wife had a window seat. Which she selected. Another passenger who booked later than we did came on board and wanted the Aisle seat which I had NO intention of giving up. She complained and was told that was the seat SHE booked and the seat she was going to Get! I booked the seat because I was suffering from Hay Fever and didn't want to be sneezing ON anybody I was also armed with 2 boxes of tissues and Nasal spray to boot. I was armed to the teeth to fight the problem back home to the west coast, The other passenger understood once she saw what I was trying to do,
 
User avatar
kczombie
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 9:44 pm

Why are we talking about this?
 
dragon6172
Posts: 1071
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:56 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 9:53 pm

4 adults and three kids, why do they need 7 seats together? Sounds like three groups of two would suffice.
Phrogs Phorever
 
grbauc
Posts: 1424
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:05 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 10:04 pm

ltbewr wrote:
Of course when people book the seats for their kids, they buy the cheapest ones even if scattered and expect the airline to accommodate them together, even if involves more expensive seats than booked or bumping those that paid more for a particular seat. I am a single older male, I don't want the responsibility of caring for someone's kid - that is the parent's duty. There needs to be ways to better accommodate family groups as to seat pricing at initial booking so don't have the hassles later and delaying a flight.



This is the problem many times. Is this a family of 5? The link won't work with my spam filter. We all know getting more then 4 seats together is really hard. Usually when boarding people accommodate family and move seats. Doing it at the game and im sure the volunteers will not be many.
 
ewt340
Posts: 781
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:22 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 10:45 pm

OB1504 wrote:
Of course, if United had forcibly reseated other passengers so that this family could sit together, there’d be another story in the media about United kicking someone out of their seat again.


Uhmm, they are Reseating the family in the first place and they Paid for it. Isn't that a problem in the first place?
 
dragon6172
Posts: 1071
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:56 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Wed May 22, 2019 11:08 pm

Lois said they were not given a complimentary upgrade and that the family has proof of paying for the upgrade.


The reservations changes happened at Heathrow on the outbound flight due to an administrative error by airport staff there, she claimed.


I think we need more info about what happened in the second paragraph in this quote from the article. Outbound flight was 20 days prior. Plenty of time to square up an administrative error.
Phrogs Phorever
 
2175301
Posts: 1472
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 11:19 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 6:31 am

My experience with United is that even per-selecting seats does not guarantee you that seat. There is fine print that says that they can change it - and my experience from previous years is that they do in about 1/3 of the time. One of the reasons I fly United as little as possible. Other airlines do a lot better job at honoring seat selection (although I've been reassigned on all of them except the old Midwest). Now I most often fly Southwest and my wife and I can always find a suitable place as we pay to be in one of the earlier groups.

Have a great day,
 
Judge1310
Posts: 339
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:55 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 8:07 am

This story is fishier than a fishmongers' market! Misspellings, grammatical errors, and such, this article can barely be taken with a grain of salt. And to read that the mother,"...Lois, who works in social media and marketing."... that tells me all that needs to be said. The aircraft was not downgauged as it's meant to be operated on a 788. And I "love" the bit about the religion of the customers (who cares what religion they are/were?!). And the bit about given hotel and meal vouchers for days...due to a "name change"... And there is no date on when this travel happened? Deffo suspicious...
 
BTV290
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:33 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 8:37 am

My best guess as to what happened here, is their PNR got divided out when the name change was made--that's common. Then, prior to departure, there was an aircraft swap (sounds like probably downgrade of equipment), and when the seat reaccomodation tool was one, it viewed the PNRs as all separate. I've seen that happen a lot. Especially when a family is using miles for some and cash for others traveling together... Frequently parents will use miles for themselves and then cash for the kids... Or a kid... So when reaccom runs, everyone gets scattered to the wind, because no technology is "looking out for them". This is especially difficult to rectify on flights to leisure destinations where it's mostly families and parties on board... MCO, HNL, OGG, etc. come to mind.

Regarding the Delta issue a poster mentioned above, I think it is IT-related, but not exactly in the way the post was responded to. The airport computer system is different than the reservations system (although it pulls information from the same place), and the airport system is just great at making same-day class changes... So the agent could have legitimately been getting an error or a no-can-do response, when a call to reservations might have resulted in a $200 change fee plus difference in fare... But possible.

Regarding rules and regulations surrounding this matter--I do believe the UK's CAA has a rule about this, requiring minors under 13 or 14 to be seated next to a parent or guardian... So it can be done.
 
drmlnr1
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:16 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 8:44 am

airzim wrote:
This story is total BS. Loved the “Americanphile” dig. Sensationalism at its finest. With the accompanying photo of a well behaved happy family. Hmm

When this happens, all you have to do is politely ask folks on the plane if people are willing to swap seats. Most people are very accommodating and will move. Or at least put that family in smaller groups of 2-3.

Staying an extra 3 days seems suspicious. They must have been verbally abusive to the United staff, drunk, or both.

Actually this story is NOT bs because she also happens to be in a Facebook group I am apart of and I actually helped her and gave her advice on this situation because I’m a former airline agent. So I gave her advice and it looked like it worked because the day I gave her the advice she got home.
Flying is relaxing!
 
drmlnr1
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:16 pm

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 8:47 am

Judge1310 wrote:
This story is fishier than a fishmongers' market! Misspellings, grammatical errors, and such, this article can barely be taken with a grain of salt. And to read that the mother,"...Lois, who works in social media and marketing."... that tells me all that needs to be said. The aircraft was not downgauged as it's meant to be operated on a 788. And I "love" the bit about the religion of the customers (who cares what religion they are/were?!). And the bit about given hotel and meal vouchers for days...due to a "name change"... And there is no date on when this travel happened? Deffo suspicious...

This just happened on the week of May 10th. The reason I know is because she’s part of the same Facebook group I’m a member of and she asked for help in the group
Flying is relaxing!
 
dragon6172
Posts: 1071
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:56 am

Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 12:26 pm

drmlnr1 wrote:
Actually this story is NOT bs because she also happens to be in a Facebook group I am apart of and I actually helped her and gave her advice on this situation because I’m a former airline agent. So I gave her advice and it looked like it worked because the day I gave her the advice she got home.

Hopefully you suggested she stop requesting 7 seats together?
Phrogs Phorever

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos