Imagine purchasing a roundtrip flight. You get to your destination, spend some time visiting your family but then the airline won’t let you fly home!
This is what happened to a 15 year-old thanks to a silly rule when flying United Airlines.
The 15 year-old boy, Zachery Martin flew from Portland, Oregon to Rochester, New York on a ticket bought for him by his father Ira.
Zachery was able to fly to Rochester but “United Airlines won’t let him fly home because he’s an unaccompanied minor on a flight with plane changes,” according to nbc4i.com
The flight was booked over 2 months back and the family feels that United should’ve told them the rule when they booked. I can’t say that I disagree. (The flight home was supposed to fly back from Rochester to Chicago then on to Portland.)
The airline told the boy that he could drive 5 hours to Newark so he could take a direct flight. They also let him know that the flight he bought won’t work so he’s “kind of stuck“.
Ira Martin doesn’t know how they will get his son back home. He feels that United Airlines didn’t give them any real option. However, United said they will refund the miles used to purchase the ticket and also refund the $150 fee charged for the first leg of Zachery’s trip.
Here is a statement from United from the nbc4i.com article:
“To help ensure safe transportation for our young customers, United requires that parents and guardians of children between 5 and 15 years old traveling without a responsible party use our unaccompanied minor service. Through that service, we provide escorts and close monitoring for children traveling alone. As a goodwill gesture we are refunding the customer’s miles that were redeemed for the ticket, as well as the fee for the unaccompanied minor service.”
The family is also not happy about what United considers an unoccupied minor. United considers a 15 year-old an unoccupied minor while many others consider those 15 years old to be an adult passenger.
This seems like a pretty crazy situation to be in. If United allowed the family to book Zachery ticket this way, they should be responsible to somehow get him home. My suggestion- due to their booking screw-up, offer to fly a family member there to escort him home!
I’d love to hear how this situation ends.
Find out more from nbc4i.com here.