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Delta Airlines and Unaccompanied Minors

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I made a reservation for travel from Seattle to Pensacola by way of Atlanta for a 13 year old & a 16 year old. I made the reservations on-line and had to put in their birth dates. No alerts came up on the Delta website; no pop-ups about unaccompanied minors; no indication that I needed to do anything else.

So I wait and about 5 days before the flight, I called Delta to confirm the information and ASK if there is anything special I need to do. I spoke to a Delta rep who informed me that it would cost me $100 EACH WAY for the 13 year old. Great! Now I'm having to pay an extra $200 that I hadn't planned for an attendant to walk the kids to and from a holding area during their layover in Atlanta. The phone rep didn't even apologize for the hidden costs or explain why the website didn't trigger the info when I put in the birth dates.

Now here's the best part: The phone rep then made a point of reading through all the flight information and confirmed flight numbers AND TIMES. I asked if there was anything else I needed to do, and he told me we were good to go.

So on Monday early afternoon I show up at Seatac airport with the kids. While trying to check in, the rep informed me that she could not allow my daughter on the flight I'd booked as the flight out of Atlanta was the last flight of the day, and Delta does not allow unaccompanied minors on last flights of the day! Really?! If they don't allow it, then why doesn't the website prevent me from making the reservation? Why didn't the rep that I CALL not tell me?! REALLY?!

The only flight the rep can book the kids on is THE NEXT MORNING AT 6:20 AM! AND we have to be at the airport absolutely NO LATER THAN 5 AM! WE LIVE AN HOUR AND 1/2 AWAY! I would have to get the kids up at 3 AM if we went back home. The timing and the hours of extra travel back and forth was too much! I felt that I had no choice but to book a hotel in Seatac. With the cost of food, hotel and parking, another $250 I had not planned on spending! Thanks Delta!!

And finally! The very nice Delta rep that told me the kids weren't allowed on the flight they were booked on apologized and suggested I write a complaint on the Delta website. The site seemed specifically designed to keep people from complaining. Lots of drop down boxes that seemed to steer away from my topic -- you're website sucks and your phone reps and untrained -- and towards "gosh, I don't know how to book a flight, would you please help me." From what I've read of other complaints, I suspect no useful response from Delta.

For the low, low cost of $450, my daughter got to spend one less day with her 77 year old grandfather.

Delta was a nightmare from start to finish.

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