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exFWAOONW
Posts: 663
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 1:16 pm

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.
Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
 
ZBA2CGX
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:09 pm

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

Thu May 23, 2019 1:51 pm

exFWAOONW wrote:
BTV290 wrote:
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.


Transport Canada has a similar regulation about those under 14 sitting in "proximity" of the parent. I can't remember if UA tried to charge me for seats the last time I flew to Canada.
http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2018/2018 ... 2-eng.html

From experience with Air Canada, they will send a follow up email or notification with the assigned seats (usually in the same row).
https://www.aircanada.com/us/en/aco/hom ... ldren.html
 
ikramerica
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 2:24 pm

ewt340 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.


Uhmm, they are Reseating the family in the first place and they Paid for it. Isn't that a problem in the first place?

Exactly. Reseat some other people instead and when they complain, blame it on equipment change like you did with this family. Whats the difference? At least then you dont have a 2 year old seated alone.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Elementalism
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 2:27 pm

ewt340 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.


Uhmm, they are Reseating the family in the first place and they Paid for it. Isn't that a problem in the first place?


According to the family. United said they upgraded them to Economy+ so they could pick their seats. Easy fix is for the family to produce proof they bought Economy+ and got screwed.
 
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NeBaNi
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 3:00 pm

Elementalism wrote:
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.


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....


Did either of you read the article in its entirety? It says:
Lois said they were not given a complimentary upgrade and that the family has proof of paying for the upgrade.

Why would she lie about having proof, when it's very easy for the news reporter to ask for it to check? To me, it does seem like the family paid for the upgrade. United claims they were upgraded for the flight they eventually took back, not for the flight they missed.
 
Lois182
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 3:54 pm

Hey,

I’m Lois Herbert - I was made aware of this post today. I read it when I got into work this morning, so can’t remember all the comments.

Myself, husband and our three kids all have the same surname.

We paid for the upgrade, and actually double checked our seats a few times prior to our outbound, as they printed few of our names wrong.

When we checked in at Heathrow our names still weren’t right and they had to sort it (re-issue tickets£. I think this is where it went wrong and they “waived” the upgrade. We were still giving the upgraded seats we had originally booked / paid for. United CEO / Manager I have spoken to has confirmed that we did pay for our upgrade ourselves.

We purchased our tickets in August 2018 - not a last minute booking.

This is the first and last time we will fly with united.

As for going to the press...we didn’t! I’m on a family that travels Facebook page - we love to travel and I posted “Has anyone flown with united before? As they want to our 2, 4 & 6 year old to sit separately and in a different cabin to us (parents). Then it went crazy and everyone started writing to United Facebook page - not once did I ask them to. Then when we arrived home the daily mirror got in touch. Also, 3 other newspapers but I declined. As this wasn’t on our agenda. I just wanted other people aware.

As for “probably” being drunk and abusive. You read our religion right? We don’t drink alcohol. As for being abusive...I wasn’t, but obviously only we know this for a fact.

I can’t remember all the other comments, opinions and accusations, sorry.
 
DenverTed
Posts: 257
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 4:01 pm

I think the FAA should have a policy that anyone 6 or younger is seated next to a parent or travel companion over 18. Not a good idea to have them seated alone for them and the people next to them.
People should have to pay to book seats together, and if the airline can't deliver, they should pay $300 or the ticket price if greater, put them on the next flight, and pay hotels if the next day.
 
drmlnr1
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 4:17 pm

dragon6172 wrote:
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?

What I actually suggested was try to get seated with two of her kids next to her or as close as possible and her husband with the other child. I had looked at the seat map for her particular flight and saw there were multiple seats close by each other where she could get 3 together or near each other and two who were elsewhere on the plane. My former airline agent in me was coming out
Flying is relaxing!
 
drmlnr1
Posts: 136
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 4:22 pm

DenverTed wrote:
I think the FAA should have a policy that anyone 6 or younger is seated next to a parent or travel companion over 18. Not a good idea to have them seated alone for them and the people next to them.
People should have to pay to book seats together, and if the airline can't deliver, they should pay $300 or the ticket price if greater, put them on the next flight, and pay hotels if the next day.

There was an earlier post on this very thing. Someone had mentioned about congress passing the very same thing but the age I think was under 18. It’s there but according to the person who posted it I think they had mentioned that faa hasn’t implemented it yet
Flying is relaxing!
 
DenverTed
Posts: 257
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 4:38 pm

drmlnr1 wrote:
DenverTed wrote:
I think the FAA should have a policy that anyone 6 or younger is seated next to a parent or travel companion over 18. Not a good idea to have them seated alone for them and the people next to them.
People should have to pay to book seats together, and if the airline can't deliver, they should pay $300 or the ticket price if greater, put them on the next flight, and pay hotels if the next day.

There was an earlier post on this very thing. Someone had mentioned about congress passing the very same thing but the age I think was under 18. It’s there but according to the person who posted it I think they had mentioned that faa hasn’t implemented it yet

I think 18 is way too high. I'm sure a lot of kids take a public bus alone, plus unaccompanied minors travel. Whether it is 6 to 12, I suppose the ages are debatable, but I would hope that most children over 12 can survive on an airplane for a few hours seated apart from their parents.
 
dtwtosomewhere
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 4:40 pm

Our family of 5 (2,6,8 yo) recently flew to PHX on UA and back on DL. Both ways our children were separated from us. We could have bought upgraded seats, but I am not going to pay several hundred dollars more to sit together - that is extortion. I look at this as free babysitting, some stranger will take care of my child for 4 hours while I sit in the back and relax. If the airlines want to play juvenile games, then this is the result.

I am for common sense government regulation, this is a time the FAA could step in and make sure children under 12 or 14 are seated with family. We fly often and this has happened on other airlines and other flights, it is quite common unless you pay the airlines fees.
 
YYZYYT
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 5:25 pm

Lois182 wrote:
Hey,

I’m Lois Herbert - I was made aware of this post today. I read it when I got into work this morning, so can’t remember all the comments.

Myself, husband and our three kids all have the same surname.

We paid for the upgrade, and actually double checked our seats a few times prior to our outbound, as they printed few of our names wrong.

When we checked in at Heathrow our names still weren’t right and they had to sort it (re-issue tickets£. I think this is where it went wrong and they “waived” the upgrade. We were still giving the upgraded seats we had originally booked / paid for. United CEO / Manager I have spoken to has confirmed that we did pay for our upgrade ourselves.

We purchased our tickets in August 2018 - not a last minute booking.

This is the first and last time we will fly with united.

As for going to the press...we didn’t! I’m on a family that travels Facebook page - we love to travel and I posted “Has anyone flown with united before? As they want to our 2, 4 & 6 year old to sit separately and in a different cabin to us (parents). Then it went crazy and everyone started writing to United Facebook page - not once did I ask them to. Then when we arrived home the daily mirror got in touch. Also, 3 other newspapers but I declined. As this wasn’t on our agenda. I just wanted other people aware.

As for “probably” being drunk and abusive. You read our religion right? We don’t drink alcohol. As for being abusive...I wasn’t, but obviously only we know this for a fact.

I can’t remember all the other comments, opinions and accusations, sorry.


First off, welcome to airliners.net!

I think this is a first for me - seeing you (the person behind the story) jump in to correct mis-statements, accusations, blame etc that get thrown around.

There are many here who always take the airline's side, and dismiss stories like yours by blaming the passenger, or suggesting that you are in it for free upgrades or $. But there are also many here who understand that airlines are capable of some horrible customer-service lapses, and who have experienced similar things.

Travelling by air can be challenging even without kids, but when you go with small kids there is a whole new layer of stress and difficulty. Most of us do what you did: plan ahead, try to ensure that you buy the service you needed (and pay for it) and in the end, hope that the airline staff show some basic common sense when things go wrong.

I think it's high time that regulators stepped in and put some rules in place (as suggested above, and as exist in countries other than the US).
 
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AirKevin
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 5:30 pm

dtwtosomewhere wrote:
some stranger will take care of my child for 4 hours

And if they don't?
Captain Kevin
 
D L X
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 5:32 pm

Lois182 wrote:
Hey,

I’m Lois Herbert - I was made aware of this post today. I read it when I got into work this morning, so can’t remember all the comments.

Myself, husband and our three kids all have the same surname.

We paid for the upgrade, and actually double checked our seats a few times prior to our outbound, as they printed few of our names wrong.

When we checked in at Heathrow our names still weren’t right and they had to sort it (re-issue tickets£. I think this is where it went wrong and they “waived” the upgrade. We were still giving the upgraded seats we had originally booked / paid for. United CEO / Manager I have spoken to has confirmed that we did pay for our upgrade ourselves.

We purchased our tickets in August 2018 - not a last minute booking.

This is the first and last time we will fly with united.

As for going to the press...we didn’t! I’m on a family that travels Facebook page - we love to travel and I posted “Has anyone flown with united before? As they want to our 2, 4 & 6 year old to sit separately and in a different cabin to us (parents). Then it went crazy and everyone started writing to United Facebook page - not once did I ask them to. Then when we arrived home the daily mirror got in touch. Also, 3 other newspapers but I declined. As this wasn’t on our agenda. I just wanted other people aware.

As for “probably” being drunk and abusive. You read our religion right? We don’t drink alcohol. As for being abusive...I wasn’t, but obviously only we know this for a fact.

I can’t remember all the other comments, opinions and accusations, sorry.

Thanks for sharing your story. I hope you stick around for comments, but I wouldn't blame you if you didn't. There are people here that have decided that they do not want to believe you, and they'd rather believe the corporation.
 
dtwtosomewhere
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 7:47 pm

AirKevin wrote:
dtwtosomewhere wrote:
some stranger will take care of my child for 4 hours

And if they don't?


We are all stuck in a big tube that will end up at the same spot no matter what.

What is the worst thing that can happen? The 6 year old gets motion sickness and some stranger will have to clean it up? See how absurd the airline policy is - this is no longer my problem to deal with!

In all honesty, my kids have sat next to some great strangers who were grandfathers or grandmothers. Our kids are good people and they make friends easy. But the airlines are bad actors here.
 
tonyban
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 7:52 pm

WorldFlier wrote:
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.


Slightly off topic but I once had a teen girl sit next to me on a VS flight from SFO to LHR. During the boarding process, a cabin crew member asked for my full name. I gave it without knowing why and a few minutes later, this young teen girl sits next to me. Not sure if they had run a background check on me or something else. But all was good during the flight.
 
THS214
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 7:55 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.


Are you for real? 2 yours old travelling on own.
 
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Moose135
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 8:03 pm

dtwtosomewhere wrote:
I look at this as free babysitting, some stranger will take care of my child for 4 hours while I sit in the back and relax.

I hope this comment was made sarcastically. If your little kid is sitting next to me unaccompanied, I'm sure as hell not going to babysit. I don't have kids of my own for a reason, and I'm not going to deal with yours. I'll wear out the call button letting the FA know everything your precious darling does that disturbs me.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
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AirKevin
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 8:05 pm

Moose135 wrote:
dtwtosomewhere wrote:
I look at this as free babysitting, some stranger will take care of my child for 4 hours while I sit in the back and relax.

I hope this comment was made sarcastically. If your little kid is sitting next to me unaccompanied, I'm sure as hell not going to babysit. I don't have kids of my own for a reason, and I'm not going to deal with yours. I'll wear out the call button letting the FA know everything your precious darling does that disturbs me.

I don't have kids, either, nor do I plan on it. Definitely not going to deal with somebody else's kids.
Captain Kevin
 
dtwtosomewhere
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 8:27 pm

AirKevin wrote:
Moose135 wrote:
dtwtosomewhere wrote:
I look at this as free babysitting, some stranger will take care of my child for 4 hours while I sit in the back and relax.

I hope this comment was made sarcastically. If your little kid is sitting next to me unaccompanied, I'm sure as hell not going to babysit. I don't have kids of my own for a reason, and I'm not going to deal with yours. I'll wear out the call button letting the FA know everything your precious darling does that disturbs me.

I don't have kids, either, nor do I plan on it. Definitely not going to deal with somebody else's kids.


Kids are wonderful, they are fun and energetic. There is sarcasm in this comment, but it shows how childish the airlines are in separating families unless you pay a fee. Have fun babysitting until the airlines change their policies!
 
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AirKevin
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Thu May 23, 2019 8:52 pm

dtwtosomewhere wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
Moose135 wrote:
I hope this comment was made sarcastically. If your little kid is sitting next to me unaccompanied, I'm sure as hell not going to babysit. I don't have kids of my own for a reason, and I'm not going to deal with yours. I'll wear out the call button letting the FA know everything your precious darling does that disturbs me.

I don't have kids, either, nor do I plan on it. Definitely not going to deal with somebody else's kids.

Kids are wonderful, they are fun and energetic. There is sarcasm in this comment, but it shows how childish the airlines are in separating families unless you pay a fee. Have fun babysitting until the airlines change their policies!

I'm certainly not going to be the one babysitting anybody's kids. I wouldn't even know what to do anyhow. If somebody else wants to do it, that's their problem, I suppose. For what it's worth, having seen my friends with their kids has only confirmed to me why I DON'T have kids.
Captain Kevin
 
Judge1310
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sat May 25, 2019 6:37 pm

What I fail to understand is the logic behind some posters here who think that it should be the responsibility of an air carrier to ensure families are seated together. Society continues its backward slide from self-reliance. If an airline (of which we ALL have a choice in the matter) chooses to charge customers for pre-arranged seating assignments if the lowest fares were purchased, then how is it the fault of the airline that one doesn't WANT to pay for such an option? Either abide by the stipulations in the Contract of Carriage or choose another carrier. Simple.

Now, what of the case where there was a rebooking/reaccommodation of travel and our example family that was originally seated together now are accommodated onto a new flight. It would follow then that they will be placed where there are open seats. An airline cannot force someone else to move to reaccommodate somebody else (unless regulatory issue, e.g. exit row regulations); all that can be done is to ask other PAYING customers if they would be so kind as to swap seats. What happens if no one chooses to do so? Then that's what it is. Too many people feel that other people should accommodate their wants, everyone else be damned -- and that right there is, unfortunately, what has contributed to the lack of etiquette and care amongst air travellers today.

Quite often, on this forum, there are those who feel that more and more regulations should be piled upon the North American aviation industry due to perceived injustices and such. Sure, we can return to the pre-1978 era of regulation...just as soon as we return to the ticket fare-levels that would be complementary to such regulation and service. In a society where increases of $5 to average fares results in television news coverage, I don't see how to reconcile the general flying public's desire for the lowest fare with its almost toxic everyone-else-be-damned attitude toward fellow travellers.
 
Kiwirob
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sat May 25, 2019 7:00 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.


Yup been there, SAS and Norwegian have seated my 5 person family all over the plane. I’m sure anyone who has travelled with children have experienced this.
 
DenverTed
Posts: 257
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:12 pm

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

Sat May 25, 2019 7:04 pm

Judge1310 wrote:
What I fail to understand is the logic behind some posters here who think that it should be the responsibility of an air carrier to ensure families are seated together. Society continues its backward slide from self-reliance. If an airline (of which we ALL have a choice in the matter) chooses to charge customers for pre-arranged seating assignments if the lowest fares were purchased, then how is it the fault of the airline that one doesn't WANT to pay for such an option? Either abide by the stipulations in the Contract of Carriage or choose another carrier. Simple.

Now, what of the case where there was a rebooking/reaccommodation of travel and our example family that was originally seated together now are accommodated onto a new flight. It would follow then that they will be placed where there are open seats. An airline cannot force someone else to move to reaccommodate somebody else (unless regulatory issue, e.g. exit row regulations); all that can be done is to ask other PAYING customers if they would be so kind as to swap seats. What happens if no one chooses to do so? Then that's what it is. Too many people feel that other people should accommodate their wants, everyone else be damned -- and that right there is, unfortunately, what has contributed to the lack of etiquette and care amongst air travellers today.

Quite often, on this forum, there are those who feel that more and more regulations should be piled upon the North American aviation industry due to perceived injustices and such. Sure, we can return to the pre-1978 era of regulation...just as soon as we return to the ticket fare-levels that would be complementary to such regulation and service. In a society where increases of $5 to average fares results in television news coverage, I don't see how to reconcile the general flying public's desire for the lowest fare with its almost toxic everyone-else-be-damned attitude toward fellow travellers.

Yes, I suppose that if someone under 15 or didn't understand the instructions ended up in an exit row, there is certain to be a volunteer to switch seats to the exit row. As for children under x age seated next to their care provider, the airline would have to flag them together and prioritize any equipment change reseating. Since they charge for unaccompanied minors, just add a charge for children under x age or provide that service, or for free if the airline so chooses. It's nice that people agree to switch seats, but it is really the responsibility of the FAA to mandate that, the airlines to provide that, and the people with children under x to pay for that service, IMO.
 
ikramerica
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sat May 25, 2019 7:12 pm

On DL, as long as you aren’t on a basic fare, you can call the airline immediately after booking and they will seat you together in the back if possible. If you look at DL seat availability, you will see the back rows are always blocked. When we were a family of 3 this worked great. Now that
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
D L X
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sat May 25, 2019 7:21 pm

Judge1310 wrote:
What I fail to understand is the logic behind some posters here who think that it should be the responsibility of an air carrier to ensure families are seated together. Society continues its backward slide from self-reliance. If an airline (of which we ALL have a choice in the matter) chooses to charge customers for pre-arranged seating assignments if the lowest fares were purchased, then how is it the fault of the airline that one doesn't WANT to pay for such an option? Either abide by the stipulations in the Contract of Carriage or choose another carrier. Simple.


Did you read the article? The party did take the responsibility of choosing seats together and paid extra to do so, only to have the airline undo it.

Judge1310 wrote:
Now, what of the case where there was a rebooking/reaccommodation of travel and our example family that was originally seated together now are accommodated onto a new flight. It would follow then that they will be placed where there are open seats. An airline cannot force someone else to move to reaccommodate somebody else (unless regulatory issue, e.g. exit row regulations); all that can be done is to ask other PAYING customers if they would be so kind as to swap seats.

No.

It is always the business’s responsibility to fix the damage they cause a customer. If the airline changes the plane or otherwise has to re-accommodate a group, it is the airline’s responsibility to find an acceptable solution, not the customers’. (Talk about taking responsibility for your actions!)

It is never acceptable to sit a 2 year old by himself away from his parents. If the airline’s computer so assigned him, it’s not the customer’s responsibility to fix it. It is the airline’s. If that means the airline has to ask other passengers to move to accommodate them, that’s fine. But that isn’t the passengers’s responsibility.
 
GoSharks
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sat May 25, 2019 7:27 pm

Judge1310 wrote:
DenverTed wrote:
At UAL, our policy is that we try our best, endless platitudes, but if you get screwed through no fault of your own, it's still your problem, so deal with it.

Please don’t speak as if you speak for the airline.

I found DenverTed’s comment quite lighthearted and appropriate. You’re taking it far too seriously, as if you were personally insulted..
 
ikramerica
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sat May 25, 2019 7:46 pm

Regarding all the selfish comments about how you dont have kids so its not your problem and how kids should pay more, you are thinking of it wrong. Its not about helping the parents who “choose to have kids.” Its about helping the kids, who through no fault of their own, were born.

YOU WERE ALL CHILDREN ONCE. When many of you were children, airlines did everything they could to keep you with your family, and kids flew on discounted fares. Now that you are selfish adults, you want kids to pay more than you do (despite weighing 1/3rd of you or less) and could care less about them as long as they don't bother you.

If I could go back in time and treat all of you like garbage when you were kids, I wouldn’t. But don’t act that way now. Have a little compassion for the children even if you don't have any for their parents.
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Antarius
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sat May 25, 2019 8:23 pm

ikramerica wrote:
On DL, as long as you aren’t on a basic fare, you can call the airline immediately after booking and they will seat you together in the back if possible. If you look at DL seat availability, you will see the back rows are always blocked. When we were a family of 3 this worked great. Now that


This makes sense. Family is happy as they do not have to shell out more and get separated, rest of the plane is happy as no one is reseated at the gate, airline is happy as no bad press. The back row isnt particularly desirable, so seating minors with parents for free in the back isnt costing the airline that much in ancillary revenue. Parents always would have the option to pay more for E+ if they desire.
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AirKevin
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sun May 26, 2019 2:35 am

ikramerica wrote:
Regarding all the selfish comments about how you dont have kids so its not your problem and how kids should pay more, you are thinking of it wrong. Its not about helping the parents who “choose to have kids.” Its about helping the kids, who through no fault of their own, were born.

YOU WERE ALL CHILDREN ONCE. When many of you were children, airlines did everything they could to keep you with your family, and kids flew on discounted fares. Now that you are selfish adults, you want kids to pay more than you do (despite weighing 1/3rd of you or less) and could care less about them as long as they don't bother you.

I never said anything about kids paying more, all I said was I wasn't going to babysit somebody else's kid. I certainly wouldn't know what to do anyhow, nor am I equipped to deal with such a scenario.
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dtwtosomewhere
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sun May 26, 2019 2:43 am

Judge1310 wrote:
What I fail to understand is the logic behind some posters here who think that it should be the responsibility of an air carrier to ensure families are seated together. Society continues its backward slide from self-reliance. If an airline (of which we ALL have a choice in the matter) chooses to charge customers for pre-arranged seating assignments if the lowest fares were purchased, then how is it the fault of the airline that one doesn't WANT to pay for such an option? Either abide by the stipulations in the Contract of Carriage or choose another carrier. Simple.


Except for we have oligopolies in the airline market, the government has allowed the airlines to merge to limit competition. If the government is going to allow only a few players to be in the market then it should be able to regulate such players. We could call this a family tax - if you have a family you have to pay extra to fly (to be seated together). Do airlines really want to be perceived as anti-family?
 
alasizon
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sun May 26, 2019 3:04 am

Antarius wrote:
ikramerica wrote:
On DL, as long as you aren’t on a basic fare, you can call the airline immediately after booking and they will seat you together in the back if possible. If you look at DL seat availability, you will see the back rows are always blocked. When we were a family of 3 this worked great. Now that


This makes sense. Family is happy as they do not have to shell out more and get separated, rest of the plane is happy as no one is reseated at the gate, airline is happy as no bad press. The back row isnt particularly desirable, so seating minors with parents for free in the back isnt costing the airline that much in ancillary revenue. Parents always would have the option to pay more for E+ if they desire.


The only downside to this (and I don't know DL's policy specifically but I'm assuming its similar to other carriers) is that if a passenger wishes to stow their manual wheelchair on board the aircraft without an appropriate closet (their right per the ACAA), it goes in the back row and those passengers in those seats are entitled only to whatever seats in their original class of service are open and which they are eligible to sit in.

As long as you book >30 days out, there shouldn't be any problem in getting at least a few seats together. A lot of people just simply wait until boarding time to ask for seat changes. At that point, its too late.
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MillwallSean
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sun May 26, 2019 3:36 am

But if we take a step back here and instead of throwing blame here and there and whining without a goal.

This wouldn't be a major issue and if it wasn't for the systematisation that has occurred over the last decade. Previously, the system might have assigned the family all over but the person responsible at check in or at the gate would have see that ooh this wont work and sorted it. Power to make the change was at point of contact not at admin office 2500km away.
The issue with removing the power of the companies representatives to use their judgements and make the most appropriate decision based on facts presented to them has been removed and this trend is especially noticeable among the North American carriers. Control and standardisation and as little own initiative or power to staff is how airlines today assume they can gain a competitive advantage. As customers we might disagree but...
Add on that in outstations the airport reps usually dont care, they are hired by someone else and just want to get their three hours check in sorted and these occurrences becomes more and more frequent.
What I dont undertand is why management believe that their staff is not competent enough to have the authority to solve issues. Its not exactly rocketscience (seat two year old with parent), but when staff cant overrule the system we will see more and more of these events. It kind of feels like six sigma, adhering to the system takes so much time that the business forget to do what they are there for and eventually goes under (see all six sigma pioneers)...

And this isn't a one off. I am sure most of us who travel regularly with kids have had this at some airlines.
Personally I have had the exact thing happen to me in 2019 on BA and that was business from SIN-LHR. However these days my younger daughter has reached double digits so sh can handle it, but that doesn't mean it should happen and well BA never again...
Its also happened on NZ (cabin staff said this is nuts and sorted it as soon as we sat down in the plane) and Virgin Australia.
Virgin Australia being the worst and saying its out of our hands (both check in, gate and flight attendants) and at that time the girl was 5 and seated in a totally different cabin for a long haul flight. I queried why on their Facebook site and they immediately deleted the message sending a private message saying well get back to you (never did). Not exactly impressive work...
Needless to say I use QF at all times to Australia and ensured that my company stopped offering Virgin as an alternative and refused to engage with them for our corporate travel account.
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questions
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sun May 26, 2019 3:50 am

Lois182 wrote:
Myself, husband and our three kids all have the same surname.

We paid for the upgrade, and actually double checked our seats a few times prior to our outbound, as they printed few of our names wrong.

When we checked in at Heathrow our names still weren’t right and they had to sort it (re-issue tickets£.


Please clarify. “... they printed few of our names wrong.” Who is “they”, United? What do you mean “printed”?

Did you book the tickets online? If so, what is “printed” should be what you typed in during booking or as listed on the frequent flyer account.
 
Lois182
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sun May 26, 2019 11:34 am

United printed them as ‘Lois Mrsherbert’ they done this with all our names as if mrherbert, missherbert after our forename was our surname. They had to change it as didn’t match passport etc and not our surname. I rang up soon as I spotted this and they changed over the phone, I couldn’t print my tickets out at home. Got to the airport and it hadn’t been changed - again United said this wasn’t allowed and need to redo everything. Took them a good 45 mins to sort everything
 
smartplane
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sun May 26, 2019 12:36 pm

Every year, a surprising number of instances are reported to the Police, where an adult recalls inappropriate behaviour a decade or more ago as a child when on a plane, train, boat..................

May be proven or not, but after a long time, investigations could be inconclusive, or barred due to elapsed time. However discretely investigated, family and friends invariably become aware.

If you are seated next to a child, separated from an accompanying responsible adult, run. If your preferred airline does this to you, find a new airline.
 
ewt340
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sun May 26, 2019 4:36 pm

Weird how many adults here wanted to get seated next to little childrens on confined spaces.
 
FlyHappy
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sun May 26, 2019 4:57 pm

Lois182 wrote:
United printed them as ‘Lois Mrsherbert’ they done this with all our names as if mrherbert, missherbert after our forename was our surname. They had to change it as didn’t match passport etc and not our surname. I rang up soon as I spotted this and they changed over the phone, I couldn’t print my tickets out at home. Got to the airport and it hadn’t been changed - again United said this wasn’t allowed and need to redo everything. Took them a good 45 mins to sort everything


Thank you Lois, for coming on here to present your side of the story!

As previously mentioned, its very unusual to hear directly from a party involved in a media story like this.
You've probably noticed that many members of this forum are directly involved in the airline industry, and as such, have preconceived notions or judgement based on past experience - which is understandable, though distasteful; just ignore those.

Just out of curiosity - was your original booking done via United website, phone sales, or thru a 3rd party (travel agent, Expedia, etc) ?

I too, have experienced name misspellings with several carriers, and though annoying, has generally not caused hardship that you endured; in one case, when me and my 5 year old were seated separately, the airline put us in first class, which I suppose was their easiest way to resolve.

Though I don't think United is any more prone to mistakes than others, it sounds like the UA agents could have handled things better than they did.
 
questions
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sun May 26, 2019 6:13 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
Lois182 wrote:
United printed them as ‘Lois Mrsherbert’ they done this with all our names as if mrherbert, missherbert after our forename was our surname. They had to change it as didn’t match passport etc and not our surname. I rang up soon as I spotted this and they changed over the phone, I couldn’t print my tickets out at home. Got to the airport and it hadn’t been changed - again United said this wasn’t allowed and need to redo everything. Took them a good 45 mins to sort everything


Thank you Lois, for coming on here to present your side of the story!

As previously mentioned, its very unusual to hear directly from a party involved in a media story like this.
You've probably noticed that many members of this forum are directly involved in the airline industry, and as such, have preconceived notions or judgement based on past experience - which is understandable, though distasteful; just ignore those.

Just out of curiosity - was your original booking done via United website, phone sales, or thru a 3rd party (travel agent, Expedia, etc) ?

I too, have experienced name misspellings with several carriers, and though annoying, has generally not caused hardship that you endured; in one case, when me and my 5 year old were seated separately, the airline put us in first class, which I suppose was their easiest way to resolve.

Though I don't think United is any more prone to mistakes than others, it sounds like the UA agents could have handled things better than they did.


Thanks for the clarification, Lois. I too am curious how the tickets were booked.

I find it amazing that the vast majority of airlines can not make simple name changes without re-issuing tickets which causes all sorts of problems. When the airline industry started moving to electronic tickets 20+ years ago all they did was automate the archaic paper ticket routines which had been around for decades. Granted there may be instances when the airline would not want to change the name on the ticket — although I don’t know what they would be, but am sure some are steeped in decades old scenarios before technology could help. However the current systems allow for no critical thinking and simple reasoning — the name should be “Charles” as on my passport, not “Charies.”
 
Judge1310
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sun May 26, 2019 6:22 pm

D L X wrote:
Judge1310 wrote:
What I fail to understand is the logic behind some posters here who think that it should be the responsibility of an air carrier to ensure families are seated together. Society continues its backward slide from self-reliance. If an airline (of which we ALL have a choice in the matter) chooses to charge customers for pre-arranged seating assignments if the lowest fares were purchased, then how is it the fault of the airline that one doesn't WANT to pay for such an option? Either abide by the stipulations in the Contract of Carriage or choose another carrier. Simple.


Did you read the article? The party did take the responsibility of choosing seats together and paid extra to do so, only to have the airline undo it.

Judge1310 wrote:
Now, what of the case where there was a rebooking/reaccommodation of travel and our example family that was originally seated together now are accommodated onto a new flight. It would follow then that they will be placed where there are open seats. An airline cannot force someone else to move to reaccommodate somebody else (unless regulatory issue, e.g. exit row regulations); all that can be done is to ask other PAYING customers if they would be so kind as to swap seats.

No.

It is always the business’s responsibility to fix the damage they cause a customer. If the airline changes the plane or otherwise has to re-accommodate a group, it is the airline’s responsibility to find an acceptable solution, not the customers’. (Talk about taking responsibility for your actions!)

It is never acceptable to sit a 2 year old by himself away from his parents. If the airline’s computer so assigned him, it’s not the customer’s responsibility to fix it. It is the airline’s. If that means the airline has to ask other passengers to move to accommodate them, that’s fine. But that isn’t the passengers’s responsibility.


Actually, I did read the article, and I've also read the woman's POV as shes posted on this forum as well. What you DIDN'T read (or intentionally left out) was that I discussed a point/counter-point: i.e. the airline can only go so far before infringing on other customers' desires. If no one else wants to move, then an airline can't make someone move as, otherwise, there would be another problem or post on here about how the big bad airline made someone move from a seat previously chosen. Do you see where I'm going here? You can't solve one problem by creating another. This is where I said that self-reliance and care for fellow travellers should come through.

In your hasty reply you state:
If that means the airline has to ask other passengers to move to accommodate them, that’s fine. But that isn’t the passengers’s responsibility.

Do you not see how that is a completely incongruent argument. An airline can only ASK...another passenger doesn't have to answer/acquiesce to the inquiry.

I'm all about families and making memories whilst travelling, for sure. But there is a simple, mathematical and positional issue with this topic: families aren't the only ones travelling out there and it would thus result that, at times, a group may not be able to sit with one another as the previously made wishes of other customers must be acknowledged.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Sun May 26, 2019 9:22 pm

Judge1310 wrote:
Actually, I did read the article, and I've also read the woman's POV as shes posted on this forum as well. What you DIDN'T read (or intentionally left out) was that I discussed a point/counter-point: i.e. the airline can only go so far before infringing on other customers' desires. If no one else wants to move, then an airline can't make someone move as, otherwise, there would be another problem or post on here about how the big bad airline made someone move from a seat previously chosen. Do you see where I'm going here? You can't solve one problem by creating another. This is where I said that self-reliance and care for fellow travellers should come through.


I like where you are coming from and want only to emphasize that it must be self-reliance and care for fellow travelers. Sometimes (a late flight change, an equipment change, etc.), self-reliance simply does not work.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
klm617
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Mon May 27, 2019 12:31 am

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.


Exactly and I have seen this scenario play out a couple of times even one time almost coming fighting as voices were raised because contract gate agents didn't do their job.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Mon May 27, 2019 1:22 am

There's a simple solution to all this - make the seat booking fee fully refundable with no exceptions. That way, if the airline changes your seat assignments unilaterally, you're not out of pocket. If the gate agent requests that you give way to a family that needs to sit together, you're not out of pocket. This is far easier to implement than to guarantee every seat booking to be honest.
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
DenverTed
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Mon May 27, 2019 1:47 am

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
There's a simple solution to all this - make the seat booking fee fully refundable with no exceptions. That way, if the airline changes your seat assignments unilaterally, you're not out of pocket. If the gate agent requests that you give way to a family that needs to sit together, you're not out of pocket. This is far easier to implement than to guarantee every seat booking to be honest.

As in you pay a base fare for the ticket, a premium for seat selection or an extra legroom seat, but the airline can give you any seat and refund the premium if the equipment changes?
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Mon May 27, 2019 1:58 am

DenverTed wrote:
TheFlyingDisk wrote:
There's a simple solution to all this - make the seat booking fee fully refundable with no exceptions. That way, if the airline changes your seat assignments unilaterally, you're not out of pocket. If the gate agent requests that you give way to a family that needs to sit together, you're not out of pocket. This is far easier to implement than to guarantee every seat booking to be honest.

As in you pay a base fare for the ticket, a premium for seat selection or an extra legroom seat, but the airline can give you any seat and refund the premium if the equipment changes?


Yes. I honestly don't see why the airline need to keep the fee.
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D L X
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Mon May 27, 2019 12:44 pm

Judge1310 wrote:
Actually, I did read the article, and I've also read the woman's POV as shes posted on this forum as well.
Then why are you making an argument completely outside the context of what actually happened? What is the point of your lecture on personal responsibility when the customer here did everything right, even paying more to get seats together?

Judge1310 wrote:
What you DIDN'T read (or intentionally left out) was that I discussed a point/counter-point: i.e. the airline can only go so far before infringing on other customers' desires. If no one else wants to move, then an airline can't make someone move as, otherwise, there would be another problem or post on here about how the big bad airline made someone move from a seat previously chosen.


Judge1310 wrote:
An airline can only ASK...another passenger doesn't have to answer/acquiesce to the inquiry.


First off, your premise is entirely incorrect. The airline can more than ask you to move. They can even remove you from the plane completely to deal with contingencies. You’re familiar with the concept of involuntary denied boarding, I’m sure, so I don’t want this to sound like a lecture. The idea is that if the airline breaks something (as may happen from time to time), there are procedures for compensating those affected. That’s the airline’s responsibility to fix the things they break, and it is no difference here.

In other words, the airline absolutely can and does make people move seats, and compensates if necessary.

You’re trying to protect a third party from also being inconvenienced, but you’re ignoring that there are procedures for reducing their pain, while simultaneously demanding the original customers suffer an unacceptable situation. I have yet to see you acknowledge that putting a two year old by himself is unacceptable.
 
Antarius
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Mon May 27, 2019 2:21 pm

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
DenverTed wrote:
TheFlyingDisk wrote:
There's a simple solution to all this - make the seat booking fee fully refundable with no exceptions. That way, if the airline changes your seat assignments unilaterally, you're not out of pocket. If the gate agent requests that you give way to a family that needs to sit together, you're not out of pocket. This is far easier to implement than to guarantee every seat booking to be honest.

As in you pay a base fare for the ticket, a premium for seat selection or an extra legroom seat, but the airline can give you any seat and refund the premium if the equipment changes?


Yes. I honestly don't see why the airline need to keep the fee.


They dont keep the fee. You get a refund.

Regardless, no - I select my flight (if I can) based on equipment, upgrade chances and what seats are available. I would not be happy if I got booted out of my desirable seat.
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YYZYYT
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Mon May 27, 2019 3:01 pm

Judge1310 wrote:
Now, what of the case where there was a rebooking/reaccommodation of travel and our example family that was originally seated together now are accommodated onto a new flight. It would follow then that they will be placed where there are open seats. An airline cannot force someone else to move to reaccommodate somebody else (unless regulatory issue, e.g. exit row regulations); all that can be done is to ask other PAYING customers if they would be so kind as to swap seats. What happens if no one chooses to do so? Then that's what it is. Too many people feel that other people should accommodate their wants, everyone else be damned -- and that right there is, unfortunately, what has contributed to the lack of etiquette and care amongst air travellers today.



I see. Is that what United told Dr. Dao? That he didn't have to leave his seat because he was a "PAYING customer"? (emphasis on "paying" from your quote).

Airline defenders tell us over and over that they can ask you to move or get off the flight, and flight crew are entitled to call law enforcement if you don't comply. But apparently this applies only when the airline over-books the flight and doesn't want to pay more to get a volunteer, not (apparently) to keep parents with their 2 year old child.

Judge1310 wrote:
What I fail to understand is the logic behind some posters here who think that it should be the responsibility of an air carrier to ensure families are seated together. Society continues its backward slide from self-reliance.


You complain that this is about people blaming the airline, and not taking responsibility. But the airline assigns the seats, how is it the parents' responsibility? Since the the airline has assumed the responsibility, they have to deal with it (particularly in a case like this, where the parents paid extra to ensure that they were sitting together, only to have the airline system glitch and separate them from their kids).

It is true that the air travel industry is one which is more heavily regulated than most, but if you want my 2 cents) the airlines are bringing this type of regulation (passengers rights' regulations) onto themselves because they are not showing any common sense, and instead choosing to push the concept of up-selling to extreme lengths.
 
DenverTed
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Mon May 27, 2019 3:46 pm

Antarius wrote:
TheFlyingDisk wrote:
DenverTed wrote:
As in you pay a base fare for the ticket, a premium for seat selection or an extra legroom seat, but the airline can give you any seat and refund the premium if the equipment changes?


Yes. I honestly don't see why the airline need to keep the fee.


They dont keep the fee. You get a refund.

Regardless, no - I select my flight (if I can) based on equipment, upgrade chances and what seats are available. I would not be happy if I got booted out of my desirable seat.

Maybe in this case, the airline should refund the cost of the upgrade, plus a voucher for that amount on the next trip?
 
Antarius
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Re: United Tries to Seat 2-,4-,6-Year Old Children Separate from Parents

Mon May 27, 2019 5:03 pm

DenverTed wrote:
Antarius wrote:
TheFlyingDisk wrote:

Yes. I honestly don't see why the airline need to keep the fee.


They dont keep the fee. You get a refund.

Regardless, no - I select my flight (if I can) based on equipment, upgrade chances and what seats are available. I would not be happy if I got booted out of my desirable seat.

Maybe in this case, the airline should refund the cost of the upgrade, plus a voucher for that amount on the next trip?


Typically, if one was booted out of a seat or downgraded, then they would get a refund and some compensation. That said, while I do not like being kicked out of my seat, in the case of this thread, the family seems to be have done everything right and still got the shaft - in this case, if I needed to scoot, I wouldn't be too upset.

The cases where I object are where some people do not plan, buy Basic Economy and expect to have someone reseated. IMO, airlines can and should accommodate for children in the back for free, or in Y+ seats, if paid for or status.
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