BTV290 wrote: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.
This sounds likely. I wonder if it was a mixed-family and not everyone had the same last name, which may have contributed to the separation issue.
I’ve worked flights where the a/c swap was the same equipment type and the res system still played seat lottery. What a PITA.