Delta Airlines and Unaccompanied Minors

Jul 25th, 2011, 11:36 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Delta Airlines and Unaccompanied Minors

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.
Heather_Campbell is offline  
Jul 25th, 2011, 02:48 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,032
Delta does provide complete information on their site (http://www.delta.com/planning_reserv...lone/index.jsp). I dare say any caring parent would benefit from taking a moment to read that page (it's easy to find, only two clicks from 98% of all pages).

Having said that I would think that as the site asked for dates of birth it would at least direct to that page.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Jul 25th, 2011, 02:56 PM
  #3  
 
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OK, I take that back, even though it is true. I just went into the reservation process and tried to book a flight and right under where you enter the passenger's name there is a line with a checkbox which reads:

/_/ The passenger is 14 or under, and agrees to the child travel guidelines and restrictions.

The underlines portion is a link to the page in my previous post above. So Delta DID INDEED notify you of all the requirements. However, by NOT checking that box you failed to nofity Delta that there was a special needs passenger.

(Having said that, the passenger birthday is not entered until the Secure Flight area and I can understand how that would not necessarily be examined by Delta software for privacy reasons.)
NoFlyZone is offline  
Jul 25th, 2011, 04:06 PM
  #4  
 
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The OP has spammed her complaint on several travel websites. Many responders have pointed out that she did not check the box. The fault is with her, not Delta.
Jimingso is offline  
Jul 25th, 2011, 06:12 PM
  #5  
 
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An airline's unaccompanied-minor program does a lot more than this:

"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."

It sounds like if the OP had properly notified Delta from the beginning of the kids' ages all these problems could have been avoided.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Jul 26th, 2011, 02:55 AM
  #6  
 
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The trollz.com are out in force today spamming on all boards

Sadly free babysitting on ALL airlines not just Delta

It has gone the way of the DoDo policies printed

clearly on their website if OP could just read

Kind of like checked bags u have to pay for everything

Delta made 1 billion in new bag fees alone last year
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 26th, 2011, 02:55 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
The trollz.com are out in force today spamming on all boards

Sadly free babysitting on ALL airlines not just Delta

It has gone the way of the DoDo policies printed

clearly on their website if OP could just read

Kind of like checked bags u have to pay for everything

Delta made 1 billion in new bag fees alone last year
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 26th, 2011, 05:45 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1
Heather, I apologize for the misinformation and service that you received. We are going to use your comments to improve the process. How can I make things right? Can you send me a tweet @deltaassist so that I can gather more information regarding this matter?

Thanks TB
Intlbound is offline  
Jul 26th, 2011, 10:11 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,315
Intbound: Heather very likely won't see your post/offer. These sort of hit and run newbies seldom come back to read responses. They just post and move on to the next website.

But just maybe this OP is an exception to the rule
janisj is online now  
Jul 27th, 2011, 05:52 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
In my experience of working for an airline for decades, I have found that people seldom give the airline the complete information that they need BEFORE they get to the airport or DURING making their reservation.

Passengers decide that they need a special meal when we are cruising at 37,000 feet and then cannot understand why we don't have a different meal for them when they didn't order one.

Passengers want a wheel chair for when we land after we cannot contact the(sterile) cockpit under 10,000 feet before landing.

People don't understand that your unaccompanied children are very important to us so when you don't read the full rules or think that the airline's rules don't apply to them then problems happen.Through the years there have been some wonderful agents and flight attendants that have had to take unaccompanied kids home to their houses because it was the last flight or bad weather(this is after contacting a parent to make sure it is okay)so that is why we have these rules.

It is a shame that she didn't come back to her own thread for some help?
dutyfree is offline  
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