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Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines (warning for parents)

panama
posts: 6
reviews: 1
Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines (warning for parents)

We booked our 10 year old son a flight from Brussels to Newark, June 24th.

We fully paid for the 'unaccompanied minor service'. Our son was staying with his grand parents in Europe.

My parents brought our son to the airport. Upon checkin the staff told them 'the unaccompanied minor fee' was not paid, although they showed a printout of the eticket clearly stating that the $150 fee + taxes +++ was fully paid.

Long story short, after debating for over an hour they finally let my son board without paying an additional 150 EUROS!

Upon arrival we found out that United had wrongly filled out the forms and as result he could not be handed over to his mom.

Since we did expect some screwed up on the airline side we had included copies of both our passports as well as a ton of additional documents such as a declaration from us who was allowed to pick him up.

On the way to Brussels he flew with a European airline .. totally no problems.

Warning to all parents .. the unaccompanied minor service from United is a joke. Beware!

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 19,983
1. Re: Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines (warning for parents)

I hope you wrote to United and detailed what went wrong after the fact?

Fredericia, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Bentota, Beruwala, Sri Lanka
posts: 35,807
reviews: 7
2. Re: Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines (warning for parents)

the unaccompanied minor service from United is a joke.

----------------------------------------------

Based on one experience?

panama
posts: 6
reviews: 1
3. Re: Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines (warning for parents)

Not based on one experience, based on 20 international flight for my son before the age of 3 and over

1mil miles for myself. We understand travel.

Yes, it's a joke if a company charges $150 and does not deliver.

Yes we did file a complaint.

Leyland, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
posts: 19,879
reviews: 34
4. Re: Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines (warning for parents)

One experience as an unaccompanied minor with United?

UK
posts: 40,466
reviews: 84
5. Re: Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines (warning for parents)

Not based on one experience, based on 20 international flight for my son before the age of 3 and over

========

So you had 19 bad experiences and still UM booked for the 20th time then? More fool you in that case.

Or did you mean that you had 20 experiences not relevant to UM and then one bad one with UM and you are basing it on that?

panama
posts: 6
reviews: 1
6. Re: Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines (warning for parents)

One experience (and the last one) with United yes, many other good experiences with other airlines.

For example he flew to Brussels from Cancun with a 'Thomas Cook' company. Ticket was about 1/3 of the price, the service fee was $ 50.00 and upon checkin I asked the lady at the counter "who will bring my son to the airplane' .. her reply was 'me'. They asked us to check the forms and correct them if needed. He was properly escorted and properly handed over in Brussels to my parents.

I am not sure why it matters if this is one experience or 10 ?

If I pay $ 150 for a hamburger I expect a hamburger and not a salad. Does not matter if the size of your company is 25 staff members or 25000. If you decide to offer a service and charge you better deliver.

One mistake is understandable however not filling in forms correctly is the CORE of this service. You pay to have this feeling of security 'knowing' he would be handed over to the right person on the arrival side.

Fredericia, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Bentota, Beruwala, Sri Lanka
posts: 35,807
reviews: 7
7. Re: Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines (warning for parents)

Will they even let children under 3 fly as UM?

panama
posts: 6
reviews: 1
8. Re: Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines (warning for parents)

Really Hans ?

What's your point please ?

Fredericia, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Bentota, Beruwala, Sri Lanka
posts: 35,807
reviews: 7
9. Re: Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines (warning for parents)

I assume UA staff are human. Humans make errors;-)

You complain about UM, but I assume your son has not been UM on all 20 international flights.

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 19,983
10. Re: Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines (warning for parents)

Unaccompanied Minor service is something you DO NOT SCREW UP. It is not lost baggage - there is no room for error. I would expect an airline to fall all over themselves if it turned out that they had screwed up something related to their care of my child, and if in addition to making a mistake in the first place, they did not seem concerned about the issue, I would happily tell others to never use the service. One problem not quickly corrected is too many.

Now, Fabian, did you complain to United about the issue? What was their response?