United Airlines Won’t Fly Teen Home Due To Connecting Flight

United Airlines
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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.

12 thoughts on “United Airlines Won’t Fly Teen Home Due To Connecting Flight

  1. Thadeus- If United did everything right then why did they

    A- Sell the ticket
    B- Fly the kid there on a RT only to let him know after the fact that he couldn’t fly home.

  2. People don’t think further than their own inconvenience. The airline is not a daycare. Would you like your 15 year old to be babysat by a stranger overnight in a hotel room? I dont think so. But weather happens. Mechanical issues happen. I think the airline is looking out for thr interest of the child and the parent. Btw check out AA and Deltas policy before roasting United’s.

    1. I had my first overnight missed connection when I was 15. A well-traveled 15 year old should have no problem handling the bus to the hotel and back.

  3. The fine print gets another passenger. There system should not allow this to happen.When giving the age of a minor the next question should be asking does he have adult or something like this he is riding with if answer’s no then he can’t proceed in there system.

  4. Letting the family book the ticket knowing the kid would be an unaccompanied minor and letting him fly the first league without telling the family of the company policy is a lapse on the side of the company for which they should be made responsible for. Instead of offering to reimburse the fees, why not enrol the kid in their unaccompanied minor service for free instead???

  5. Typical beauracracy, one person did not do their job; the second person did do their job and the consequences were bad. The problem is united fails again to take responsibility. Watch “United breaks guitars “

  6. When booking a unaccompanied the policy is there. The $150 dollar fee is part of the policy. The airline is not a babysitter service.

  7. Tiajuana- I disagree. If UA allowed this 15 year old child’s flight to be booked and flew him to Rochester, then get him home. If they have a rule which doesn’t allow minors to fly unaccompanied on connecting flights then don’t allow it to be ticketed.

    Mclaren- Exactly!

    James- A logical solution!

    Scott- Awesome video!

    Jon- Makes total sense!

    Ry- 🙂

    Davis- Nobody said the airline was a babysitting service. Just don’t like unaccompanied minors be ticketed if this is the policy…

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