An unaccompanied minor fee for my accompanied minors? What’ll they think of next?

Airline junk fees come in all shapes and sizes, but this one may rank among the most bizarre. It comes to us by way of Andrea Hogan, who recently flew from Kauai to Dallas on Hawaiian Airlines.

“My eight-year old daughter and I had seats in first class, while my other two sons, ages 10 and 12, were in coach” she says. “My boys’ seats were literally four rows away from mine with absolutely nothing dividing their seats from mine.”

A Hawaiian gate agent told her it didn’t matter. She had to pay a $100 “unaccompanied minor” fee.


Hawaiian insisted she pay more, even though she could see and supervise her boys.

Sure enough, that’s Hawaiian’s policy.

Your child is an unaccompanied minor if he or she is:

5 to 11 years old, and traveling without a companion on the same domestic flight and in the same compartment who is 15 years of age or older, or traveling without a companion on the same international flight and in the same compartment who is 18 years of age or older.

So, no dividing the family between first and economy class.

On one level, that’s an understandable policy. No one wants someone else’s little keikis running around the main cabin and causing a ruckus. But what if there’s no real partition between classes, and the parent can see their offspring? In other words, what if they are supervised?

“When the agent at the American check-in desk saw that I had paid an unaccompanied minor fee to Hawaiian she was shocked and said she had never heard of such a thing as having a parent on the same flight being forced to pay that fee,” she says.

Related story:   The death of a customer doesn’t guarantee survivors a refund

So Hogan did what any self-respecting passenger would do in that situation: She complained.

Here’s what she wrote:

I was made to pay an unaccompanied minor fee for my child even though I was on the same flight. I was in seat 1A and he was in 12 A. There were 3 rows of first class and then his row was the 2nd row of coach directly behind first class. There was no divider between the cabins.

I do not feel your airline was just in charging me the $100 fee.

I have attached a picture of my child in the seat to show how close of contact I had during the entire flight. Please let me know what you can do to resolve this for me.

Here’s the response:

We’re sorry for any misunderstanding about our Unaccompanied Minor fees and when it would apply.

Although I understand you were on the same aircraft, since your child was seated in a different class/compartment (First Class vs. Coach Class), the Unaccompanied Minor fee would need to be assessed.

A child is considered an Unaccompanied Minor when he/she is not traveling with a companion on the same domestic flight, in the same compartment. Again, we apologize for any confusion regarding this policy.

As a “gesture of goodwill,” the airline offered her a $50 ticket credit.

Hogan wasn’t happy with that response. Here’s her rejoinder:

I understand you have a policy. However, two things do not sit well with me.

First, the tickets should never have been able to be booked without paying the fee at the time of booking.

Second, even though two seats were coach and two were first, there was nothing separating the cabins. The separation came several rows after the coach seats my sons were in.

It is the most ridiculous thing ever that I could see my children the entire flight, yet had to pay $100 for someone else to watch them.

I do not want a travel credit. According to this policy, my other two seats could have actually been past the divider, yet I would not have had to pay anything because they would have all been in the same “class.”

I want my money back.

But Hawaiian took a hard line:

We’re sorry you disagree with our policy.

When booking a child through our website, there is an alert notice that’s posted. This notice probably would not have alarmed you since you booked the same flight.

Currently, there is no partition between First Class and our upcoming Extra Comfort Seats. As we mention via our website, you paid for two separate classes of services, a First Class and a Coach Class seat, and the fee was charged correctly.

The travel credit was not intended to reimburse you for the fee, but as a courtesy to let you know we hear your concern. Regrettably, we are unable to provide you with a refund.

Hawaiian Airlines considers its decision to be fair and appropriate. Respectfully, this matter is considered closed.

I can see both sides of this. But the best airline policies are flexible and allow for some common sense.

By “flexible,” I mean that they allow for waivers when parents are sitting close enough to their children so that they can reasonably supervise their kids. And by common sense, I mean, do you really want to slap a first-class passenger with a fee like this? (Take a long view, Hawaiian. She’s worth more in the long run if you just refund the entire $100 as a goodwill gesture.)

Still, rules are rules, and technically, Hawaiian’s policy was correctly enforced. But is its policy right?

Should an airline charge an unaccompanied minor fee when the parents are on the aircraft?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at Read more of Christopher's articles here.

  • Jim

    This fee is perfect! Now when a family does not pre-book seats on a flight the airline can seperate them and charge unaccompanied minor fees. Hopefully executives from Spirit are reading this article!

    I am more confused why the girls were in first class and the boys flew in steerage.

    I know there are certain frequent commenters on this site that will disagree, but your absolutely right Chris she is worth more in the long run by refunding the $100.

  • LostInMidwest

    Didn’t quite understand this … The company has rules. Rules are extremely well defined – which tells me they are there for a reason. Meaning, they had to deal with unaccompanied minors in the past and it wasn’t pretty, thus very clearly spelled rule. We don’t like the rule, therefore it should be ignored or gone.

    Well, it’s not a democracy, it is business. You can feel free not to use them if you don’t like their rules.

    Man, this felt good. How many times, when I’m unhappy with rules imposed by private companies, all people have to say is “if you don’t like them, don’t use that company”. Which in majority of the cases sounds completely out of touch with reality exactly like “Why don’t they eat cake if they have no bread.” You are certainly free to NOT use Delta if you live in Atlanta. Or NOT use Hawaiian when you live in Hawaii. Yeah, right …

  • Raven_Altosk

    Some airlines need to charge an unaccompanied minor fee when the parent is sitting right next to the kid and ignoring ongoing problems…This is especially true on my favorite route to the house of the mouse.

    But seriously, no, in this case it is ridiculous.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Ladies first? IDK.

  • AJPeabody

    The future is coming! I can see it now: Pay a fee to book a family’s seats together (already exists), or pay a different fee for sitting apart (exists in this case). Right now it applies if the classes are different, but why not extend it to any non-adjacent seats? The spirit of Spirit is spreading.

  • Monica Lynn Kennedy

    I’m usually a rules are rules kind of person, however, this one doesn’t sit well with me. The key is the writing that says “same compartment.” The airline says even though there is not a physical partition between First and Coach, the fee applies. The LW says “…there was nothing separating the cabins. The separation came several rows after the coach seats my sons were in.” Seems like there was a separation, but they were all on the same side of it. This turns into a debate on the definition of “compartment” vs “class” when enforcing the rule.

    This sets a terrible precedence for future traveling. Next thing you know, we will be charged if the child isn’t sitting directly next to the parent, which means we’d either have to pay a $100 UM fee or pay $100 for assigned seats. Either way, they can charge extra money.

    My husband and I have ceased flying because the industry is getting out of control. We drive everywhere, which is nice because it gives us quality time to relax and talk to each other. My son travels solo once a year on Southwest to grandma’s for the summer. Thankfully, he no longer falls under their UM policy, but he always reports back that the FAs are great to him. It’s the only airline that I would use if I didn’t have a choice but to fly.

  • BillCCC

    As silly as the policy sounds there is no getting around the fact that it is well defined and available for all to read. If she is worried about the money she could fly everyone in coach and save a few bucks next time.

  • Bubbles

    Sided with Yes on this one. While this policy seems absurd in this instance alone, how can an airline be expected to change it’s policy aircraft to aircraft. It would seem that they’re better able to provide service when policies cover everything and not plane to plane, that would be insane… especially when some flights have had cabin makeovers, some haven’t. Or did you book through kayak or some other discount site? They may not have the info correct and then there’s more misunderstandings.

    Also, it’s my experience that you are not allowed to cross from economy forward – I’m assuming to keep the scum in the back and not sully the toilet. (ECONOMY FLIER HERE)

    In this case, it’s absurd to have charged a fee but to the point that the question is “Should an airline charge an unaccompanied minor fee when the parents are on the aircraft?” then yes, they should. Something needs to be in place for when parents are flying in First class in row 1 and their little tykes are back in row 45.

    It was nice of the airline to offer anything, it didn’t have to and this specific case just falls into a gray area. She lost ALL sympathy when she demanded a full refund by the way. That is completely absurd.


    If you had published this last week I would have been appalled at the fee. But I encountered a similar situation yesterday on a 10-hour flight home from Europe. Parents had booked themselves economy comfort (or whatever it is called) seats and put their two children 5 rows back in regular economy with no partition between them. Parents promptly put on their headsets and conked out for much of the flight. The unsupervised kids had a good time, much to the annoyance of many of us. The yelling, constant use of the flight attendant call button, playing their video games at full volume and my personal favorite, “accidently” dumping Coke on the two passengers in front of them. As the parents were on board there was little the FAs could do. It would have been different if they traveled as unaccompanied minors. (The relief pilot finally put a stop to this after the coke incident. Moved the parents back to sit with the kids and moved the two with the coke shower to business.)
    Airlines should not charge parents money to get seats together. But I think that parents traveling with children under the age of 15 should be required to sit in the same class of service as the children.

  • John Baker

    I’m prepared to get flamed but ….
    This policy exists for a reason I’m sure. I’ve been on flights where Mom & Dad sat in Business / First and left kids in economy without supervision. The key difference between that scenario and the “the airlines spread us out all over the cabin” scenario is that mom and dad made the choice at booking that the FAs were going to be their babysitters …. just like unaccompanied minors.

    So in this case, I do have an issue with the choices that Mom made. Yes I understand that she minimized the impact by having them in the bulkhead row but she still chose at booking to not sit with her kids under any circumstance….

  • Pirossalma

    Chris, you are naïve, if you think that they paid for those first-class seats, so they worth more in the future (???). No, they probably got free upgrade.
    Moral of story: dear parents, please, seat with your kids.
    And yes, you are free to chose NOT to get free upgrade.

  • Richard Smith

    I was reminded of this story:

    While the fee may seem unfair under the circumstances, one should remember that seat reservations are not guaranteed; those two boys could have ended up in the back of the plane, as far from the parent as possible. Furthermore, even four rows apart, there are times in the flight where one is not allowed to leave one’s seat; if one or both of the separated children is in need of parental care, then those duties inevitably fall on the flight attendants or non-related passengers sitting nearby.

    Worse, some airlines have, or have had, policies of not sitting single men next to unaccompanied minors. Requiring certain passengers to relocate seats, potentially paid, is not always a pleasant process. Here’s a discussion of the topic:

    Taking these into account, without a doubt any time you have minors unaccompanied by parents in a compartment, there ought to be a fee — and it is good that Hawaiian charges said fee.

  • Pegtoo

    But the fee should have been triggered at the ticket purchase, not at check in. I wouldn’t like the surprise either.

  • Southwest patron

    How different would it be if the seats were the last row in the first class and the first one in the economy class? Come on, get real Hawaiian Airlines – common sense prevails here that this should not have happened!!! :-(

  • PsyGuy

    Mom didn’t by that first class ticket, she upgraded to it. This fee is perfectly assessed, mom was essentially dumping her parenting responsibilities on the FA’s so she could check out for a while. Does she have eyes in the back of her head how is she going to supervise them being behind her? Why would mom sit in first and have the kids sit in coach and consider that supervising them, its just another example of irresponsible parents trying to dump their parenting responsibilities on someone else, and trying to do so on the cheap.

    What bothers me is that it was only a $100 thats cheaper than what a neighborhood girl would have charged to babysit for that length of flight. Really they just need to get rid of the unaccompanied/accompanied minor fees and just get rid of the minors entirely, though I’d be happy for now with say an extra $200 minors administrative fee per kid.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    I don’t think this is too unreasonable in that this only applies if the children are in a different cabin class rather than seated apart (Spirit airlines style). The problem is that some parents will let their children run rampant and the poor FA’s and passengers will deal with the fallout. On the other hand, I agree that if the parents are close to the children and the cabin isn’t partitioned, then this is different than the minor being totally unaccompanied. The parent can still be called upon to be held accountable.

    So a middle ground is needed.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    Something to keep in mind when you fly… common sense sometimes goes out the window (figuratively speaking) as compared to us typing here on this nice blog.

    Imagine you have 200 passengers you need checked in, a food beverage cart inventoried and stowed, overhead bins checked, and a half dozen grumpy passengers who refuse to put away their mobile phones. You have about 20 minutes to get that done before the door closes.

    A couple has been upgraded to first class and is seated up front while the kids are in economy. To get the parents closer, you’d have to ask 4 people to move. Even then, you’re not sure if the airline management is going to buy into the idea.

    Plus keep in mind that while FA’s are professionals, they are not getting paid for this technically. Their paycheck only starts coming after the wheels are in the air.

    As consumers and passengers, it’s easy and reasonable that we gripe but the workers who make all this stuff happen have limited resources. When I try to make any requests of them, I take all of this into account because the easier I make their lives, hopefully, the easier they will make mine.

  • SoBeSparky

    This is another erosion of service connected with a fee. The unaccompanied minor fee was instituted to pay for special handling minors, from passing through security at origination airport to exiting the destination airport. Now Hawaiian breaks new ground by just making a fee for minors not seated in the same cabin. As if the airline must give special handing taking the kid from coach to first.

    Predicted next step in this erosion is the unaccompanied minor fee: the same fee becomes universal, and if the kid is on a different aircraft altogether (truly unaccompanied), then a special passenger handling fee. So not in the same cabin, pay a fee. Not only not in the same cabin, but not on the same aircraft, tack on another fee. Bingo!

  • ploughmud

    I love this… I do agree.
    Why would you dump your kids in the economy class and yourself in 1st?
    If they were good parents they would have split up and each taken a child. If they had lots of $$ they could all have sat in 1st. oh and I really love that the pilot put the parents back w the children. Hopefully a lesson learned for these parents.

  • IGoEverywhere

    It has been the Hawaiian rule for years. They make $$$, you pay money….that simple. Research is a good rule here. Why did you pick Hawaiian? Did you check with United, American, Delta, United, USAir, etc to check their rules? You should have.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    All airline rules are well-defined, including those that claim things like it’s beyond their control when their employees don’t show up for work, etc. And they are all there for a reason–to make the airline more money.

    Honestly, this rule probably does make some sense if the family were on complete opposite ends of the plane or if there were a bulkhead in between them. But four rows apart without any obstructions? That’s just a money grab. And there’s the added problem that this policy actually encourages their agents to separate families just so they can collect the extra fee. And if the families can successfully get neighboring passengers to trade seats so they can sit together? The airline will still keep the extra fee.

  • emanon256

    So Hogan did what any self-respecting passenger would do in that situation: She complained.

    She should have done what any self-respecting parent would do and sit in the same class with her children. Seriously, when I used to fly every week, I occasionally saw parents in first class, with their kids back in coach. It was a nightmare for everyone, kids kept ruining up into first class and wining, parents coming back and forth between first class and coach constantly disrupting everyone. Fee or not, this is one inconsiderate parent.

  • emanon256

    I also have to mention, there is not a clear line of site between moms seat and child’s seat. I am uploading a seat map showing where they sat, according to mom. Also, I am uploading a photo from First Class back, there is a divider, and while the aisle is open, they draw a curtain. It would be hard to manage a child between a divider and curtain when they are that far away.

    Now I personally don’t think the unaccompanied minor fee is fare unless they actually provide something for it, which I don’t think they do. But as a parent, I also don’t see how this mom could be parenting her kids in coach, when she is up in first class.

  • shannonfla

    I agree with the fee if a family deliberately books seats this way, even if it’s a few rows away. However, if they bought tickets and were forced to choose seats apart, or waited to see if gate agent could help them out as a family, then the fee is bogus. And before anyone suggests it, I don’t think the family should have to pay a fee if they choose not to buy pricey seat upgrades to sit together. We all complain about that.
    In this case, though, just give her the $100 back and call it a day.

  • IUBBallFan

    Airlines. Destroying themselves from the inside out, one customer at a time.

  • Alyssa Bickler

    These are 10 and 12 year olds not 4 and 5 year olds. If the boys were misbehaving mom was close enough to take care of it. 10 and 12 year olds these days are perfectly capable of plugging in to their devices and sitting quietly for hours. They don’t need babysitters. Sounds like you don’t have any kids!

  • Mike

    The fee usually covers escorting the minor on and off the airline and making sure the person picking them up is authorized to do so. There is a lot of work involved but no here. The fee is a rip off at $100. Some fee may be appropriate as in some cases more supervision could be needed because five rows of separtion is not always possible.

  • backprop

    I don’t think it’s reasonable for an airline to have to be in a position of calculating each time, well, that seat is only three rows from this one, so the fee doesn’t apply.

    I’m only commenting on the OP’s argument, that because the seat was so close, the fee shouldn’t apply. It doesn’t sound like she’d be upset if the seats had been a bit further away, say in the middle of the coach cabin.

    Same cabin, no fee. Much simpler.

  • SharonSK

    I’m so tired of the fees! Fees if you want to sit together, fees if you aren’t sitting with your children. Seriously? This could be the answer for education…fees for children who mis-behave (the knee-defender users, the inebriated); fees for children habitually late for class (cancellation fees); fees for the children who are advanced (add’l payment for first, business); fees for the children who bring the wrong supplies to class (overweigh, oversized carry-ons or checked bags); fees when parents don’t want their child seated next to Joan or Johnny (pick your seat); and I’d be remiss not to include the fee for finding the cell phone thieves, bullies, & children who bring inappropriate things to schools (the TSA). On the upside, there should be a discount for the children who never get in trouble, follow the rules, and have attentive parents (umm…I’ve got nothin’). :-(

  • Stephen0118

    I don’t think she wanted a full refund. She wanted to get a refund for the UM fee.

  • Michael Goff

    There should be no fee since no service was provided.

  • Jennifer Moore

    Lovely policy when half the time, the airlines won’t seat the families together in the first place.

  • Rosheen Dunlay McGowan

    It should not work both ways. Many airlines will not guarantee that you will be seated with your children, unless you are made to pay extra…My grandchildren have flown with their dad and step-mom, and they were not seated together….I suppose they could have been charged an un-accompanied fee. These airline fees are getting so out of hand, that it is no longer a pleasure to fly. Unless it is impossible to drive, we do not fly any more. Customer service is a thing of the past, sadly.

  • The Original Joe S

    “Against the law to teach slaves to read.” – Well-defined, and in the law.
    “Blacks are not citizens, never were intended to be citizens, and therefore have no standing to sue.” – Dred Scott Decision, 1857
    “Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, etc. are sub-human and shall be exterminated.” – Law constitutionally enacted by criminals.

    So, the law is the law, and one should never use common sense, hah? That is the “zero-tolerance” mantra touted by incompetent administrators, such as in our deteriorating schools.

  • The Original Joe S

    Maybe because the kids are smaller and fit in the smaller seats, while Mama blimp and Papa whale need bigger seats? Speaking as a zeppelin myself, I pay to fly in the bigger seat. My son and daughter-in-law, slim healthy people, fly sardine-can cheap.

  • The Original Joe S

    Probably ain’t definitely. You make an assumption they got an upgrade. Invalid argument……
    Seat with the kids? Yup. Charge ’em more for sitting with the kids? Nope.

  • EvilEmpryss

    Ooh! I like this one!

    I can now pay for 1st class seats for me and Hubby, toss the kids in coach and just pay the $100 babysitting fee to the airline to take care of the kiddies while Mommy and Daddy chill with fully reclining seats and a little bubbly. It’s cheaper than paying for the brats to sit in 1st with us and pester us during the start of our vacation.

    As far as I’m concerned, families should sit together, 1st, Business, or Coach, and it shouldn’t cost more than the base fare of the seat to make that happen. In the LW’s case, it wasn’t an accidental separation, and she should pay the fee.

  • BillCCC

    You are absolutely right. Because there have been bad laws in the past, nothing written now should be enforced. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • The Original Joe S

    Your post triggers this thought in my mind: One parent and one child in first; the other pair in coach. No fee. Switch later. The FA could say NO, but would they really? Maybe….. Maybe not.

  • The Original Joe S

    There is NEVER a middle ground. Everything is absolute. Nobody will compromise. Zero tolerance. Zero thought process. :-Þ

  • Edmond Valencia

    I guess if I get charged the $100 I don’t have to parent my children… Seriously, if the flight attendant knew who the parents were and the children became unruly would the flight attendant go to the parents for help? Of course. Ridiculous.

  • EvilEmpryss

    Yes, the FA would most definitely say no. They get quite cranky about people changing seats, citing safety rules and such. I think they need to be able to ID the corpse in the event of a plane crash. At least that’s what I was told the last time a friend and I tried. Oh, and the upper level classes don’t like you trying to game the system and will complain to the FAs to make them stop you.

  • The Original Joe S

    They went up to first and scarfed up some of the wine there? Yeah, I agree with you; this is intolerable! I’d whine about that also. :-Þ

  • The Original Joe S

    ” I personally don’t think the unaccompanied minor fee is fare” No, it ain’t a fare, it’s a fee, and man, am I having fun with you today! :-Þ

  • EvilEmpryss

    There’s an old joke I heard about pilots being the first people to the scene of a crash. I guess that holds true for the “ladies first” in 1st class. :p

  • EvilEmpryss

    I think it’s a rather heavy-handed way of saying “just because there’s a rule about it doesn’t mean the rule is fair”.

  • The Original Joe S

    Unfortunately, I can’t drive to Asia. So, I fly on a GOOD airline, not the ones with the ancient sows for FA who have personalities like pit vipers. Inside our Glorious Empire, I’ll drive.

  • EvilEmpryss

    Have you ever tried getting past that curtain between coach and first? The FAs can be like the gestapo, guarding that line.

  • The Original Joe S

    Didn’t say that either. You bring the argument to an erroneous conclusion based upon invalid premises. You are attempting to substantiate your opinion with something which was neither implied nor explicitly stated.

  • The Original Joe S

    Thank you.

  • Vec14

    The cynic in me says the $100 should have been refunded if the kids behaved well. I imagine the 11 and 13 year old were thrilled to be seated away from mom and younger sis.

    Long ago, I do remember being on several cross country flights when I was about 12 and my sister was 9 – this was before mandatory UM fees and we were fine. We knew we were expected to behave and we did, nothing bad happened to us, and we weren’t scarred for life by flying alone.

  • The Original Joe S

    Well, what’s the dif if the seats were paid for? I don’t see how that’s “gaming the system” unless you mean it’s evading an extra fee. I don’t believe that fee is justified in this case, but I also can see how it might be if the kids are far away and running amok. Now, does this fee cover the costs of the whips and chains the FA would use on the kids to calibrate them into docile behavior?

  • DavidYoung2

    Noooo…. don’t give diSpirited more ideas to abuse their customers. I know rules are rules, but they have to make at least SOME sense.

    The OP should send a formal demand for $100.00 and then sue in small claims if Hawaiian doesn’t pay up. BTW, gotta love the ‘Aloha’ spirit of Hawaiian.

  • EvilEmpryss

    It’s gaming the system when two people get to enjoy the amenities of First Class when only one of them has paid for it.

  • I understand the airline has a policy, but this is a ridiculous policy when applied to this situation. Airlines are separating infants and toddlers from their parents 20 and 30 rows apart due to their current seat assignment policies (even paying a fee may not prevent this from happening). They leave it to flight attendants and fellow passengers to “work it out” on board making it stressful for everyone. But having a 10 and 12 year old 4 rows away from mom is a problem that requires a $100 fee to address? This story is one of the rare ones that makes me mad.

  • EvilEmpryss

    Sounds to me like you have an idealized vision of both children’s behavior on long flights and parental motivation to mind their children in public. Some parents (not all, but it’s a crazy obnoxious minority) can’t get their kids to be polite in a restaurant or at school; expecting these people to mind their kids when they feel they have the privilege of sitting in First and enjoying the highlife is reasonable but, sadly, unrealistic. *MY* children have been taught proper manners, but lately I find I’m more surprised when someone else’s kid displays good manners than when they act like brats in public.

    Is the age cutoff arbitrary? Certainly, but they need to make the cut somewhere. Preteens requiring direct supervision sounds to be like a reasonable standard.

  • BillCCC

    LOL. That’s exactly what you were trying to say. Don’t use all your big words on this article. There will be other articles in the future.

  • EvilEmpryss

    I think you make a good point about needing parental care. Everyone focuses on their behavior, but what if there had been an in-flight emergency causing oxygen masks to be required? You now have two kids with no one to look after them. No one likes to think about the emergencies, but they could happen and if the fee covers the FAs going out of their way to mind the children in an emergency, it’s good insurance.

  • ORguest

    If the fee had been assessed when the tickets were booked (names and ages are required), I still wouldn’t like it but I wouldn’t argue with it. It bothers me that she was charged after the fact.

  • sunshipballoons

    Do the terms define “compartment.” I would say that if the plane is undivided (which is how it’s described in the article here), then all the classes are in the same compartment.

  • The Original Joe S

    I ain’t using ’em all. Just some of ’em. My normal writing vocabulary, as opposed to my inarticulate affectated speech. Sorry, but while my friends were out back of the gym shooting craps, I was in English Lit, actually enjoying it……

  • tio2girl

    I’ll take that discount! Really, wouldn’t that be nice? They’d have to give out too many, though, because (in my experience) for as many families and kids out there that you’d like to throttle for their horrible behavior, there are twice as many that work hard to make sure their kids behave and don’t bother the other passengers. We blend into the background, though. The bad families and kids are the ones passengers remember.

  • emanon256

    I apologize, I actually do have dyslexia and spell check can only help so much.

  • AndTheHorseYouRodeUpOn

    My first thought was to disagree but then I harkened back to the “Smiths” (Mr/Mrs) traveling in F-class while their 8 and 9 year old daughters were going to be in coach. Mrs. Smith made such as fuss at check-in with me that she wanted her daughters watched after in coach by the FA’s and that no one should be sitting beside or between them. We told her we would make no such commitment and that she should sit in coach with one daughter while the other sat in F-class with Mr. Smith OR they could pay the UMNR fee. Of course they wanted no part of that and it escalated to a supervisor. Thankfully he would not budge and they ended up doing the split cabin with one child and parent together.

    My point is it is always seems to be “okay” when the parents want what THEY want but if something went wrong in the coach cabin (even “ten feet away”), rest assured they would be screaming blue bloody murder, lawsuits, etc. These are the same parents that if all were booked in the coach cabin and ended up in separate seating from their kids, they would be objecting to the hilt. I’m so sick of people making unreasonable demands according to their desires; rulebook or not; selfish, arrogant, etc.

  • SK

    I’m not surprised about this. Hawaiian doesn’t let you fly stand-by for free either, unlike other airlines. Even if the plane is 80% empty.

  • Grant Ritchie

    Well argued. I didn’t feel I could vote in the poll… but after reading your post, I voted “Yes.”

  • MarkKelling

    Kids were not in bulkhead row.

    From her statement that she was in 1A and the children were in row 12 (which is only 5 rows of seats apart) with no divider, it appears she was on a Hawaiian A330. The bulkhead is at row 14 on these planes.

    So they should be charged the UNAM fee in this case? What about if Mom was sitting in row 14 but the kids were in row 47? Those seats are all in the same cabin, but a whole plane length apart with no way of knowing what is going on that far away.

  • MarkKelling

    Only way to get a “free” upgrade on Hawaiian is if you fly – a lot. Maybe they do.

    The price differential between coach and 1st on Hawaiian is not that much and they do offer paid upgrades at the airport. I have paid cash multiple times for the upgrade when flying them. I have never had enough flying miles or points with them to get that for “free.”

  • MarkKelling

    There is still only one meal for that 1st seat.
    There is still only one blanket and pillow for that 1st seat.
    There is still only one entertainment console for that 1st seat.
    There is still only one preflight drink for that seat.
    The drink service is still only as fast as the FA brings it.

    So where is the problem with parents swapping seats? Or even just two people traveling together swapping? I don’t see the issue.


    The parents were actually quite fit and not overweight and not very tall. I think they just wanted a break from the heathens.

  • MarkKelling

    I have never been on a flight (domestically in the US) where seat swapping between 1st and coach was not allowed.

    I have never seen or heard anyone complaining about it who was seated in 1st either (and I sit in 1st a lot (because I pay for it, not from “free” upgrades)).

    I have seen FAs prevent people from swapping on international flights.

  • MarkKelling

    Your seat map is for the 767. The flight she mentioned was on an A330. The 767 does have a bulkhead between 1st and coach (might be just a curtain now) where the A330 has nothing until after row 13. .

  • MarkKelling

    Good luck on that drive with the ocean crossing to Hawaii next time you go. :-)

    Hawaiian Airlines has young and friendly flight attendants, some of the youngest in the industry within the US (gathered from personal experience flying them). That is one of the side effects of them being an expanding airline adding more and more routes and planes creating an ever growing need for FAs.

  • bodega3

    Exactly. The rules state one thing, but that doesn’t apply to them because they don’t like the rules.

  • MarkKelling

    What other airlines allow you to stand by for free? Southwest makes you upgrade to a full Y fare to stand by. Several others charge a fee.

  • ndally

    Let me understand this…Two adolescent children sitting in a different class that their parent yet just a few seats apart and in complete view there is a unaccompanied charge, but two 6 year olds in coach seat 5 A & B and the parents in coach in row 26 A & B and there is no unaccompanied charge? That makes a lot of sense. Next time stuff the kids in a carry on, that’s only $25. The mind boggles on the creative ways airklines can steal your money

  • karenell

    Same class AND Row. And preferably not outnumbered.

    We were recently on a flight where Dad (who obviously spent little to no time with his kids and had no knowledge of their capabilities) flew in first class with his two toddler sons. Babe1 and Babe2 were in 2A and C – Dad sat himself down in 4F and got comfy. As we were taxiing for takeoff, Babe1 undid his seatbelt to stand on the seat and look out the window. Babe 2 quickly followed. As we lifted off, they were pushing and shoving each other, vying for the view. The rest of the flight was one disaster after another – Dad eventually did get up and pulled their tray tables out for juice. When the juice was spilled EVERYwhere and removed by the flight attendant, the kicking began. I was in 1D and watched as the poor woman in 1C was bounced and kicked throughout the flight as she tried valiantly to get through a rather large work document.

    As we were waiting for the jetway to dock and the signal to deplane a woman who had darted up from coach was oohing and aahing over the little darlings. How well behaved they were! The looks she got from the rest of us should have vaporized her.

  • emanon256

    I see what you are saying, the seat map for the A330 doesn’t show the line. However both B767 and A330 have a thin panel and a curtain after row 3 with a solid bulkhead with lavs being further back. I am attaching a similar photo from the A330 showing the panel an curtain, it is a little smaller than the B767 divider.

    Even without the divider, I am not sure how she could watch a child in 12A, whens she is in 1A, even thought they are 4 rows apart. Not to mention they aren’t supposed to cross classes of service (Not because of security, but because it disturbs other passengers).

  • LFH0

    I, too, found the use of the word “compartment” to be odd. I looked at the Hawaiian contract of carriage, and found no definitive definition of that word. But I did find the word used multiple times elsewhere in the contract. And in particular, the word “compartment” is used exclusively to distinguish between the “passenger compartment,” the “cargo compartment,” the “baggage compartment,” and the “overhead compartment.” See Rules 195, 200, and 205. No where in the contract does the carrier equate a “compartment” with a “class of service” or even a “cabin.” In other words, the carrier uses the term “compartment” to refer to a distinct physical space. Of the spaces specified by Hawaiian in its contract of cabin, it appears that all the passengers here were all in the “passenger compartment.”

    It is also odd to read the conditions of carriage as Hawaiian’s seems to interpret the terms. As so interpreted, Rule 50 would have required the parents to “complete the required documentation and furnish HA with satisfactory
    evidence, including name, phone number and address of the parent or
    responsible adult who will be meeting the child upon deplaning at
    his/her destination.” That is, the parents would have been obligated to provide information about themselves as being the individuals “meeting” their child as they all alight from the same aircraft simultaneously. In addition, the rule requires that the parents “remain at the gate until the flight has departed,” which means that the parents could not the aircraft with their children, and must instead remain behind at the gate. My guess is that Hawaiian failed to take the parent’s information as it was obligated to do, and failed to detain the parents at the gate, as it was also obligated to do. In that case, Hawaiian did not earn the fee. More importantly, the failure of Hawiian to have done so shows that the rule regarding unaccompanied children should not be applied when both the parents and the children are all transported in the passenger compartment of the aircraft, and not split into separate compartments (e.g., parents in passenger compartment, children in cargo compartment, see

  • Alan Gore

    It’s the old travel leapfrog game. Every so often, some company tries an outrageous new policy just to see if it will stick. If it does, next year every other company in the field will have the same fee or humiliating new policy.

    Because Hawaii is an island economy, travel problems are always major there. Because of this, Hawaii is one of the rare places where complaining to the local press might make a difference. And, of course, make it hell for Hawaiian online to whatever extent you can.

    Does Aloha have the same fee yet? If not, switch to them and tell them why.

  • LonnieC

    Gee, they only get paid after the wheels leave the ground? I didn’t know that. Terrible….

  • bodega3

    Aloha Airlines no longer exists.

  • bodega3

    Sounds like they will miss your cheery attitude and your wide body in the seat.

  • bodega3

    If you read the rules, the fee applied due to the two different cabins. If mom and sister stayed in coach, no fee.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    Think about that next time you see them being a bit surly when doing their seatbelt check.

    What happened is that the FA’s get paid pretty well for when they’re up in the air to compensate, but still, this is something I’m amazed the unions put up with. ALL the time someone is working should count as paid time. Unless someone is in a managerial position, the Feds should put a stop to it too. But somehow, it remains legal.

    I remember when I was young that a local gas station chain expected me to show up 20 minutes early, and late, to do an inventory of the station and paid me minimum wage. I was outraged by this and left quickly afterwards.

  • MarkKelling

    Thanks for the pictures. I am pictorally challenged as far as adding any here where I’m at right now.

    Hawaiian is in the process of rearranging the seating up front to change the first rows of coach to extra legroom. They have removed some of the dividers during the conversion even though they are still flying the planes.

    I agree that while I can see seat 12 H & J and others on the far side of the plane from where the picture was taken on the plane, I can’t see 12 A.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    I thought about this as well but keep in mind that the fee was assessed at the gate and it was the parents that were upgraded. The FA’s aren’t in a position to refund fees, obviously. They could have arranged this at the gate.

    Perhaps they didn’t think of the idea or perhaps it was unappealing to them. As adults, they love the big seats, free alcohol, and fancy plates while the kids just want juice boxes. The kids won’t appreciate first class in the same way.

    I have a friend who gets upgraded due to his elite status and… he leaves his wife and kids behind in economy. She’s ok with it amazingly. That’s a strong marriage!

  • Alan Gore

    Hawaiian is the only game in town now? That makes it even more imperative that she contact the media.

  • bodega3

    For interisland, there is Hawaiian and Island Air. For transpacific flights, there are many carriers.

  • SK

    I believe Alaska still lets you fly stand-by if you don’t want it confirmed. I have flown stand-by for free on United, Delta and Continental in the not-so-distant past, but a quick check shows that they already charge. Things are changing quickly.
    Hawaiian wanted to charge me for stand-by about a month later than Alaska didn’t, and I was quite disappointed. There were FOUR people on the plane. This was in 2011 I think.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    I’m confused. Some commenters refer to the male parent being along for the ride, some refer to an upgrade. Where in the article does that appear? And where did American Airlines enter the picture (referring to the comment made by the agent at American)?

  • SharonSK

    Agreed; the ones that get the attention are the lazy parents with out of control children. I’ve sat next to/close to many children. Minus a little crying, which wasn’t an issue, I’ve only had good experiences. Seems once something starts gaining attention, fees start to be attached. I’m just waiting for a charge on seats that do or don’t recline due to the most recent fiascos. Just another way for airlines to add to the coffers!

  • justmeeeee

    She should have had an agent seat her children on the plane and deliver them to her in the terminal at their destination, as well as seeing to their in-flight needs, since that’s what she paid for.

  • bodega3

    Yes, you use to be able to stand by on UA.

  • Lindabator

    These types of fees are ALWAYS paid at the airport – due to the headaches when dealing with changes and cancellations.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    Great minds think alike. That’s what the unaccompanied minor fee is about: The parent has the airline handle taking the child through security, seat them on the plane (make sure they don’t run off like in Home Alone), and escort them to the destination guardian. It’s a pretty big job and sometimes when airlines muck it up, they get in trouble over it. For a hundred bucks, it’s understandable that there are costs to take a child through all that.

  • Lindabator

    MAY have been close enough, but what guarantees they would have cared? Maybe this woman would, but many others do not – hence the policy. And frankly, I don’t see a problem with it. (When my upscale clients travel with the kiddies, they sit in first, and take a nanny to sit in coach with the kids – so no problems, and the kids ARE actually supervised!)

  • Lindabator

    You are correct about the ID situation. :)

  • bodega3

    She paid for one child. The fee is $100 for a child up to the age of 12. At age twelve, they can fly with no fee if the parent so desires. If the parent stayed in coach, there would not have been a fee.

  • bodega3

    The parent/guardian should obtain a gate pass and accompany their child to the gate and not bolt from the airport.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    I’m reminded of another uncomfortable airline policy: British airways and some other airlines have a discriminatory policy to not seat unaccompanied minors next to men since most sex offenders are men.

    Yes, the rational is perfectly valid but so are other discriminatory policies that are illegal. I bring it up for this reason: Imagine you’re seated next to an unaccompanied minor. Then the parent decides to sue the airline claiming that you did something offensive towards the child. There is no proof that anything happened (and you know nothing happened) but the parents are surfing for a settlement. What then?

    This kind of hyper litigious society we live in perhaps explains why Aloha has the policy. Some kid does something to hurt themselves on a plane and then the parents sue the airline because the child was “unaccompanied” and in legal care of the airline while the parents partied up in first class.

    The one time I got called for jury duty, I voted to kill a lawsuit over a woman getting stuck in an elevator for 2 hours. Yes, this was an actual lawsuit. Something to keep in mind…

  • Lindabator

    Agree she should pay the fee, but why should only FAMILIES get a pass on seat fees? If I travel with my best friend (who is TERRIFIED of flying) I will pay for the seats to be together, because it is important. No different for a family – especially when they are teens, and you get cuckoo mom screaming she needs to sit by all 4 kids! Then PAY for seats!

  • PolishKnightUSA

    I was just thinking about getting one of those gate passes myself to escort my in-laws visiting from Ukraine to/from the gate. But they’ve gotten there on their own with limited English skills before so I don’t worry too much about them.

    I didn’t do much research on the issue (I have friends with kids who faced the fees) but I think the airlines charge even more if there are gate transfers the kids need to be guided through.

    See what I wrote above about legal liabilities. Even if the parent puts the kid on the flight and we ALL know the kid is on there, there is legal liability for point A to point B.

  • Lindabator

    Right – I see this as her and the daughter in 1st and 2 KIDS in coach – so who you gonna be watching???? Frankly, having been “blessed” with several little darlings on previous flights, I have no problem with this fee. You want to sit in 1st, then you all sit there – or you all sit in coach.


    I feel the same way. When I travel with my elderly mom I often pay a fee to be seated together on one particular airline. If I have to pay it with my nearly 90-year-old mother than families with children should as well.


    I had a flight attendant attempt to switch me to sit by an unaccompanied minor about 2 years ago. I asked to whom I should send my bill for babysitting services? After the flight attendant got her mouth closed again, she moved the minor child to a seat right in front of the galley. Truly one of my better moments on a flight.

  • y_p_w

    Not exactly. They’d technically be in the same compartment if they’re all in economy.

    The might not be if they assigned the parent to business class. Like they’d ever do that.

  • Kevin

    I think the fee is reasonable but things could have gone better if HAL’s website warned her about the fee while she was booking the flight. That would’ve allowed her to make a more informed choice and respond accordingly instead of being surprised at the gate with the fee.

  • Freehiker

    You should have to pay the fee to ME if I have to sit next to your little angels.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    AND – you can spell “chocolate” without an “f”.

    “Affectated”, though?

  • bodega3

    It is on the website. Sounds like she took advantage of the upgrade at the airport, so her tickets were all coach until she left the two boys in the dust to grab upgrades for her and the daughter. If you DIY, then be sure to read ALL the rules.

  • bodega3

    I am guess she flew to Hawaii on HA and AA back, all in the same PNR.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    I’m shocked as well. You could have simply declined more politely. Unaccompanied minors have to sit somewhere (they can’t put them in the overhead bin! :-)

    Seriously though. Provided they are well behaved (and many are), I have had fine flights sitting next to young children. Toddlers the exception (they’re kicky). On the other end of the age scale, a young teenage boy crowded my armrest.

  • Michael__K

    Lots of comments raising concerns over bad behavior by specific passengers on specific flights. But I don’t see how Hawaiian’s policy solves any of those issues.

    If you insist that minors must not sit apart from their parents then perhaps that should be the policy. (Some of us really do want to sit next to our minors and are occasionally frustrated in our efforts to do so).

    If you think parents should be held more responsible for the behavior of their minors, okay… Note that Hawaiian’s policy doesn’t guarantee that either.

    Normally, the point of the unaccompanied minor fee is to pay for an additional airline-provided service: an adult to escort the minor from the arrival gate to the designated pick up area (or to a connecting flight).

    In this case, what additional service does the airline provide either to the parent or to other suffering passengers in return for collecting this fee?

  • MarkKelling

    Since HA doesn’t go much past the West Coast and she was going to Dallas, it was a code share. Hawaii to the West Coast on HA and then on to DFW on AA. Repeat the plane change for the return trip. Not sure if the AA agent comment was at plane change on the coast or at the start of the return trip.

    No mention of any upgrade was made anywhere in the article

  • PolishKnightUSA

    I’m not (confused on the issue) . I think the reason is the girl was 8 while the boys were 10 and 12 and it made sense for the youngest to ride with the mother and the two older children to ride together.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Thank you. I thought I was losing my ability to comprehend or that a previous version of the article had been posted and then edited without my seeing it. I absolutely could not figure out how Hawaiian Airlines and Dallas were related, with what little I knew about the two airlines.

  • EvilEmpryss

    It’s not *me* that necessarily has the issue, it’s the business who doesn’t like two people getting the benefits when only one is paying for them. To the business, both people should be paying for that luxury. That’s be like two people getting one of those fancy Magic Passes at Disney World and then swapping it between them: you’re getting extra benefit when you rightfully should be paying for two of them. If the First Class cabin wasn’t that much better than the Coach, you wouldn’t be playing the game to try to get even a partial trip in it.

  • AH

    oh geez, gimme a break! the boys were 10 and 12, not 3 and 5! it’s not like they were crying babies or toddlers who didn’t know how to behave and were running up and down the aisle!
    airlines regularly put 3 – 5 yr old kids in row 24 while the parent is in row 10, and there isn’t any “unaccompanied minor” fee.
    the airline is being overly nitpicky about cabin class. the kids had a parent on the same flight, so they were NOT unaccompanied, they just sat in a different row!
    (btw, i flew alone when i was 12, and there was no extra fee, and my brother and i flew alone when we were 12 and 13 – and on that flight, the airline failed to properly tag on our luggage, so i was called up front to identify our bags so they could be put on the next flight. [i had tags with my name on my luggage, my brother didn’t, it was long before that was a requirement.])

  • The Original Joe S

    That’s as in Southren newspapers reporting on a court case where the defendant, not from around there, expressed himself with affectated speech. :-Þ

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Them Southren journalists must be sippin’ a little white lightning whilst writin’.

  • The Original Joe S


  • Carver Clark Farrow

    My question though is that how is that different from parents being in row 15 and kids being in row 15, both rows being in coach? That’s my issue.

  • Annie M

    I can see both sides of the coin. When they come up with these rules, how is the airline to know the parent is 3 aisles away or 30 aisles away? They can’t come up with a policy that names the number of aisles in between parent and child so that a fee is or isn’t in effect. In this particular case, the fee doesn’t make sense, but how to do determine this on a case by case event? You can’t. And while her kids may have been well behaved, what if other kids were not and were running back and forth between cabins or disturbing people around them? She was basically paying for babysitting. There is now way I believe she had her eye on the kids during the entire flight. Didn’t she take a nap like everyone else does that flies?

    If that $100 was that important to her, she should have stayed in coach with the kids. As a parent, I would never have upgraded two seats and left two kids behind in coach.

    Sometimes you have to take responsibility for your choices.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    But by the same token, one other person, (within the same family) has

    paid for first and is in coach.

    Mom and son buy first
    Dad and daughter buy coach
    Dad and son switch

    Mom bought all 4 seats, 2 coach and 2 first.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Scary. I actually agree. Zero tolerance = zero thought.

    I called my pastor and he confirmed, hell is indeed frozen over.

  • mythsayer

    Exactly… that’s what irks me about this! They can’t have it both ways. First airlines forcibly separate families and it’s totally fine. They see no issue with it. Now they are trying to charge for the same type of separation. Well, which is it? Is it fine for kids to sit alone or not?

  • mythsayer

    Bet you’re totally okay with families being forcibly separated by airlines, though, right?

    And don’t say it only happens when people don’t book early enough. I
    personally have checked in, gotten my boarding pass, had the seats I
    personally selected confirmed on that boarding pass, only to be called
    up to the gate agent prior to boarding and handed two new boarding
    passes where I was seated in front of my 7 month old baby. They had no
    explanation. It wasn’t an exit or bulkhead row. They just took my seats
    and assigned me new ones. I wasn’t late. I hadn’t booked late. I
    checked in the night before. I did everything right and they were going
    to separate us. I told them it was fine, but the person next to the
    kid was going to have to take care of her.

    They found me new seats.

    But I bet you’re totally okay with separating families. And okay with
    this. And that’s inconsistent. It doesn’t matter whether it was done
    on purpose or not (in this case, for example, it was on purpose).
    Either kids can sit in different rows than their parents, or they can’t.
    You can’t have it both ways.

  • mythsayer

    But you’re okay with families being forcibly separated?

  • mythsayer

    My issue is that it shouldn’t MATTER what caused the separation. If an airline is totally fine with forcibly separating families, then why is this any different? It’s not. The end result is the same: kids aren’t with parents. It’s not a fee… it’s a penalty. And that’s wrong.

  • mythsayer

    Okay… and what about when families are forcibly separated? They tried to do it to me once. I checked in the night before, had the seats I’d selected when I booked over a month before confirmed on my boarding pass, had the boarding passes in my hand, got through TSA, and was promptly handed new boarding passes right before boarding with totally new seats and my daughter sitting behind (or in front) of me (at 7 months old). I had specifically picked seats it said infants could it in (wasn’t exit, wasn’t bulkhead).

    So it happens. It DOES happen. They did switch our seats again, because obviously no one wanted to feed my 7 month old baby, but I did everything right and the airline is the one who took my seats 20 minutes before boarding.

    So if that’s okay, then why is it not okay for these kids to sit separately?

    And my real issue with paying more to have confirmed seats is that I don’t NEED to sit next to my husband.

    I DO NEED to sit next to my disabled mother and my child. If it’s a necessity, there should be no fee. That includes disabled people. In fact, there is a good argument under the ADA that charging a fee to sit together would be a violation of the ADA.

  • mythsayer

    But you shouldn’t have to. My mom is also disabled. When sitting next to someone is compulsory (disabled or young children), there shouldn’t be a charge.

    It basically means that we HAVE to pay. But people who don’t need to sit next to the other person don’t have to pay. I don’t need to sit next to my husband so paying is voluntary. I can do it if I want to. But I do need to sit next to my disabled mother. And my four year old.

  • mythsayer

    My point exactly.

  • LonnieC

    I agree with you. it would seem that at the very least they should be paid from the moment they enter the plane until they leave…. I think this shows how weak a position they’re in when negotiating. The mergers, downsizing, etc., have taken a toll on the power of the unions (and I’m not a particularly strong supporter of unions, but wow!), and we passengers aren’t the only ones who lose.

  • bodega3

    I encountered that this with a last minute aircraft change. It is annoying, but at 20 minutes prior and with a plane to get off on time so we can make our connecting flights, this does happen.
    As for her fee, she upgraded and the rules for children under 12 in one cabin and the parent in the other cabin, they get charged as the FA is now responsible for the child in coach even though the parent is only rows away in first. The mother didn’t have to upgrade.

  • mythsayer

    I don’t think it should matter. The different class issue is just arbitrary. A plane is a plane is a plane. As others have pointed out, what happens if parent is in row 5 (say first row of economy) and the kid is in row 30. The whole “she upgraded” argument just results in a penalty, basically. How is the FA any MORE responsible for the kids here than he/she is in the second scenario.

    I just don’t feel that the class distinction really matters. Ultimately the parent IS on the plane. And forcibly separating families has the same result. So this is a penalty. It’s not a fee. If they tried to charge me this, I’d tell them to give the me whole shebang. If I have to pay, then that kid is becoming fully unaccompanied and they can earn their $100. And I don’t think that’s wrong.

  • bodega3

    But it is in their rules. She could fly a carrier that has different rules.

  • Travelnut

    For a regular unaccompanied minor fee, there are real services being performed. For this particular fee, I doubt the FAs had to perform any services outside what they do for the adult passengers. Serve the kids a couple of sodas and some peanuts. For that reason, I think they should refund the entire $100. It’s a charge for the POSSIBILITY of providing extra services. That’s wrong. The OP got zero extra from the airline for her money. Maybe a better tactic would be to get the parents’ credit card info up front and be clear with them that if their kids misbehaved to the point that the FAs had to intervene, then they will be charged $100. Heck, they should charge that whether the kids are with the parents or not, and maybe also if any passenger acts up. The threat of a fine might keep passengers from throwing water in people’s faces. Alternatively, there could be a rule that parents could not sit in a different cabin than their minor children.

  • BroncoWidow

    So usually unaccompanied minor services include things like escorting kids on and off of a plane, or other services like (from the United website)

    “Personally greet your child

    Introduce your child to the cockpit, time permitting

    Take your child to their seat and assist with carry-on items

    Orient your child to the safety features of the aircraft

    Point out lavatory locations”

    On the Hawaiian Air website – For the purpose of this rule, HA will provide supervision for unaccompanied minors or passengers requesting Meet and Assist Service accepted under this program from the time of boarding until the passenger is met at deplaning at the final destination.

    So – did the FA provide this kind of supervision or no? I’m doubting that. My bet is the FAs knew exactly where Mom was. Also – the UM fee doesn’t apply to the 12-year old. It was only the 10-year old. Age 12-17 is “optional”.

    There seems to be some confusion here, too, with posters stating that parents were up front while kids were in back. Mom was with the youngest daughter, while the 10 and 12-year olds were a few rows back. This wasn’t mom and dad abandoning kids.

    I call this a money grab unless HA actually provided some type of service. My guess is they didn’t even collect the “name and phone number” of the adult “collecting” the 10-year old at the end of the flight, since they knew Mom was ON the flight. That’s a stipulation on the terms and conditions on their website, too. If they didn’t follow their own steps other than to collect payment, shame on them.

  • emanon256

    Where did I say that?

  • PsyGuy

    No they can’t, every kid has ADD/ADHD, they cant sit for hours.

  • PsyGuy

    I would always offer and insist my wife take the first class seat.

  • PsyGuy

    No middle ground, if your kids are running amok, compromise on my part means I display more tolerance, but what do I get out of it? Nothing.

  • PsyGuy

    Kids now a days as young as 6 can find their way from a counter through security or from two gates. It’s not hard, walk down ramp, ask agent for connecting gate and directions, walk to Sky Train, get on train, get off train, walk to gate.

  • PsyGuy

    You know it’s not really the kids, its parents who don’t know how to be parents so they do whatever the flavor of the month talk show, magazine, pop psychologist, child care expert says.

  • PsyGuy

    Your not being forcibly separated, your being required to pay the same fee for reserved seating that everyone else is. You shouldn’t get a freebie just because you reproduced. What I agree with is you should get seats assigned together and the fee mandated and added to your invoice, you have kids, so you don’t get the option of waiting for assignment, or paying for advanced reserved seats.

  • PsyGuy

    The stew’s on Hawaiian are the hottest in the US, still look at Korean, or Singapore airlines, they have some very easy on the eyes stew’s.

  • PsyGuy

    I wish some of the international airlines would start a US domestic airline and run it like their international airlines. With the right connections Id never fly a US legacy or regional (maybe SW and JB) carrier again.

  • PsyGuy

    Even better separate flights. Since your paying the unaccompanied minor fee anyway. Put the kids on one flight in economy, and have them waiting for you at the airport at your destination being supervised by an airline staff member, and you and hubby take the next flight in first class. No worries of interruption at all.

  • PsyGuy

    It’s not necessary, you could sit your child in front of you, and then move them to your lap for feeding and don’t breast feed in public.
    You also don’t need to sit near your disabled mother, if your across the aisle or a few seats a way she can stare off into space whether your there or not.

  • PsyGuy

    Why are penalties wrong, you had kids, kids cost money, that’s reality.

  • PsyGuy

    I agree, charge them both.

  • PsyGuy

    Excuse you what about all the young female teachers having sex with their students? A recent case involving a FEMALE teacher and an elementary school student. Being a sex offender is not genetically linked to X or Y chromosomes.

  • PsyGuy

    If I’d been that FA, I’d have told you to either take the seat, or “I’m feeling threatened” and have you removed from the plane, take your pick.

  • PsyGuy

    What about the kennel portion of the plane?

  • PsyGuy

    or at least no charge liquor service…

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Sorry, the statement was that the FA tried to “switch” @fqtvlr:disqus “to sit by an unaccompanied minor”, not the child. Children do have to sit somewhere. By moving the adult, rather than the child, it sure looks to me as if the FA was going to make FQTVLR responsible for the child. The airline is receiving compensation for looking after the child; when it hands it off to a passenger, then the passenger should be compensated. Notice that FQTVLR said that the child was moved to near the galley after she refused to babysit for the FA? Why not seat the child there in the first place?

  • H0M

    I agree that in this case the airline should had exercised some common sense and turn a blind eye to it. However, why would the airline ignore its own policy when the mother had the option to book everybody in one class?.. I’m not defending the airline, but advocating for personal responsibility. Do your research and obtain a written agreement before u book.

  • H0M


  • CeeJay

    Which is utterly irrelevant to the service they provide. Or should there be hot, hunky males attendants for us women to ogle?

  • CeeJay

    But how do you define compulsory? Lindabator’s case above – that’s not a case of someone disabled or with young children… should she have to pay? I got terribly airsick on my last flight out, and wanted to sit next to my mom on the flight home so she could help me out. Is that a compulsory situation?

  • PsyGuy

    Well there’s service and then there’s “service”. Guys shouldn’t be FA’s if for no other reason a particular aircraft requires only a certain number of crew members, and male FA’s take away from the number of available stew’s on the flight.

  • CeeJay

    Right. Don’t know why I bothered to comment. Either you’re truly, obliviously sexist, or trolling. Either way, my pointing it out isn’t going to change you.

  • PsyGuy

    I’m not oblivious to my sexism, men and women are different, at least to me they are, this is why I will turn my head when passing a beautiful woman and wouldn’t even notice as you describe “a hung man” walking by. That’s how biology works. Yes, women can accomplish all the things a man can (and vice versa, yes you can have babies and we can’t but that’s not a problem any male researcher is trying to solve). Women can feel and think the same the same as men, but when it comes to biology and you know the biology I’m taking about that’s where we have differences.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    No need to be sorry, Jeanne. Good point!

  • Bill___A

    It would be kind of hard to write the rules to say “if they are in different classes but seated in the part of economy that is in the same compartment as the first class seats, then the fee is not charged. However, if the children are in the part of the economy section which is separated physically, then the fee will apply”. Imagine the complaints if some parents had their kids in the front of economy and were not charged, while other parents had to put their kids behind the partition and had to pay.
    The fact that the partition happens mid economy section is the anomaly.
    The rule makes sense.
    I do not always get an upgrade, but I have indeed been on a flight where the parents were in the first class and the kids were in economy. The kids were as disruptive as could be, constantly coming up and going back.

    I can well imagine why this fee is in place, I have seen it.

    Siding with the airline on this one.

  • mythsayer

    Her friend is afraid of flying… unless she can show it’s an actual disability, then yes… they need to pay. This isn’t particularly a subjective standard. My mom can’t walk without help. She’s partially paralyzed. She can’t even stand up without help on a plane. So yes, it’s compulsory that I be near her. I can be across the aisle… the next seat over, but I have to be next to her or we will constantly be disturbing everyone around us while I get her up to go to the bathroom or get her things she needs.

    Lindabator’s friend is afraid of flying and that sucks a lot, and I have a lot of empathy for it and even though to her it may seem like a disability, it’s not the same as a blind person, or a baby who can’t feed itself, or a paralyzed person. My standard is simple. Children under, say, 6 (I think a 6 year old can sit alone… that kid should be able to behave) and disabled people need to be seated with companions. Bottom line. That’s it. It’s not a complicated scenario. If you can prove you’re disabled and need a companion (get a doctor’s note if necessary), then you should be seated together without charge.

    and it’s not that hard, honestly… most people can prove it… and I have very little sympathy for people who pull the disabled card when they can take care of themselves. I myself have lupus, but I don’t need a companion. That’s stupid… I can feed myself and walk around without help. I like my disabled parking placard and I prefer to not have to walk down a lot of stairs at sporting arenas and theatres, but I can certainly sit by myself on an airplane. I have no sympathy for people who try to get free things because of disabilities like lupus. Yes, I am disabled to a certain extent. I have a lot of neurological problems. But I don’t need to sit by my husband.

    But my mom can’t walk. What’s she supposed to do? Yell down the aircraft at me every time she needs something?

  • mythsayer

    And no… you getting sick isn’t compulsory. Sorry. I’m talking permanent (or at least semi permanent as in leg so broken you can’t walk alone) situations. Not inconvenience situations. What exactly would your mom need to help you with when you were sick?

    Not trying to sound mean, but my mom can’t walk or stand without help. I think that’s a lot different than you vomiting.

  • mythsayer

    Oh right… right. Yeah… totally.

    I could put my baby in the window seat in front of my window seat and reach my 5’4 frame over the seat every time the baby needed something. Or I could just jump over everyone 20 times during the flight. And what about when the seat belt sign is on? What then?

    If you were the one sitting next to my 7 month old baby, I bet you’d be screaming about how it was so wrong. And yet here you are, wanting me to let strangers sit next to my baby and reach over every single time she needs something. That’s insane and ridiculous. I had confirmed seats. There was no reason to take them.

    And you know what? My mom can’t walk by herself. She can’t stand by herself. I can be across the aisle. I consider that “next to”. But you’re seriously suggesting that I she call across the airplane every time she needs something from me? That’s far more disturbing to passengers than just putting me in a middle seat next to her.

    Furthermore, there is no guarantee that you are seating only a “few seats away”. And if I’m suddenly stuck in a middle seat a few rows back, now I have to jump over people again, after she’s called down the plane to me, so I can get to her.

    Come on. Seriously?

  • mythsayer

    I have a limited patience with people with lots of kids. I would put a 6 year old in a seat by his/herself. I wouldn’t put a baby or a toddler. I have limits.

    Under 5 or 6 with parents should be compulsory. Disabilities such as can’t walk, or maybe blind, basically anything where the person can’t take care of him/herself for whatever reason. I don’t consider fear of flying in that category unless it rises to the level of psychosis.

  • mythsayer

    Then airlines shouldn’t be separating families at all! You can’t have it both ways!

  • mythsayer

    You apparently just hate children.

    Honestly… my four year old has flown about 20 or 30 times. She’s totally fine on airplanes. Not all kids are monsters. And this is coming from someone who actually doesn’t like kids much at all.

  • mythsayer

    welllllll…. if you’re only getting half the benefit, is it really?

  • mythsayer

    WHAT??????? A 10 year old yes! But a 6 year old??????

  • mythsayer

    You didn’t this time… It was more of a question to you.

  • mythsayer

    Okay look. Let me clarify something.

    If every single person on the plane had to pay to get seats, then I am fine with paying a fee.

    What I am NOT okay with is that you are not required to pay a fee to pick seats. And then they just randomly take them away from you.

    That is a situation that is just stupid. There should be blocks of seats that can be reserved for free. When you reserve those seats, they should be yours and yours alone. They shouldn’t be able to bump you from those. If there are only singles left in that section, then I guess you better pony up the money. I’m fine with that.

    What I am NOT okay with is when they let you reserve these “free” seats (and of course there are the “not free to reserve seats” also) and then they just bump you from them.

    That’s why I’m not okay with the current situation. It basically forces families and others (like disabled people with companions) to pay the extra money so they don’t get bumped. It turns it from a choice to not a choice.

    That’s my issue. I don’t have a problem with paying for reserved seats if everyone had to do it. Or if that was the only option because the other seats only had middle seats. I’ve paid for seats quite frequently.

    it’s the bumping you out of the free to reserve seats that I have an issue with. Because say there are only middle seats or singles around the plane. If I’m with my husband, I can just pick whatever seats I want. I’m cool with that. If I want to sit with him, I can CHOOSE to pay. Same with the kid… the free seats are gone, so if I want guaranteed seats with the kid, I will pay.

    But if there are seats together, in the free to pick your seat section, and I pick my seats, why should I lose those seats later? I booked early. I picked my free seats. I shouldn’t then have to pony up money after the fact because the airline decided to take my seats away.

    Does that make more sense now?

  • mythsayer

    But if I picked free seats and had them confirmed all the way up to the gate, why should I have them taken away from me only to be told I should have paid if I wanted a guarantee? Doesn’t that do away with the entire purpose of picking seats at all? At that point, why don’t we just go all Southwest on everyone unless you want to pay for seats when you reserve? What’s the point of even allowing someone to pick free seats?

  • Ellen Henak

    Some airlines need to charge unaccompanied adult fees when the adults cannot behave without supervision.

  • CeeJay

    Not mean, I agree with you – vomiting is not a permanently disablity (although it is helpful to have someone pass you a new sickbag when yours is full!). But humans aren’t very good at drawing lines – if it’s a firm line, we get an article like this complaining that it doesn’t make sense in this case. And if it’s a judgement call, we’ll get complaints that if one person got the benefit, the other person should have too….

    My solution? If you book together, you sit together. If your seats get moved (which I don’t like either, but operational reasons exist), they get moved together. Then it doesn’t matter if one person is disabled, has a sore ankle, is a young child, is an older-but-not-confident child, whatever. I guess the airlines won’t do that, though, with all the extra charges for window or aisle or advanced-seat-selection – too many extra fees to be made – but that’s what I think is the right thing to do.

  • PsyGuy

    If you lost them, then they weren’t confirmed. Your seats were free, then they weren’t free, and you could either accept assignment at check in, or keep your seats, and pay… you pay now.

    Why should an airline or any travel business provide you a benefit for free, when they could generate revenue for it?

  • PsyGuy

    It made sense the first time.
    Let me make this simple for you to understand, there is no such thing as a guaranteed seat, until you leave the plane and de-board. Anytime and including during the flight you can be reassigned. You don’t “own” a reservation, it is a request that can be honored and then dishonored at anytime. A free seat selection option is just a courtesy to you, if you want something closer to a guarantee, you need to pay…. you pay now.

    I don’t think there should be any “free” seat reservations, you should either pay for a seat reservation or be assigned a seat at reservation.

    You should be bumped out of your free seat, because there is a revenue generating opportunity for the airline to sell a reservation to your seat. As paid reserved seats on a plane are reduced, what were once standard seats will become premium seats. Things like window and aisle seats will be worth more as there are fewer sats available on the flight. Why should you get to keep a premium seat for free?

  • PsyGuy

    I assume she was six, she was a first grader, her mother walked her to security then she got through security made her way to the gate, checked in with the gate agent, found her seat and when she got off the plane to make her connection at DFW she asked the gate agent where her plane was and she went off, she took the skytrain to the next gate concourse went up the escalator, checked in with the gate agent, then left and came back 20 minutes later with McDonalds. When they called the flight she boarded, had to wave her hand really high to the gate agent to take her cell phone and scan her ticket, then got on the plane.
    We were traveling the same route and I was in the seat next to her. She kept her Hello Kitty backpack under the seat in front of her, and watched frozen on her iPad. The biggest problem was when the FA wouldn’t serve her soda, only juice for the beverage service.

  • PsyGuy

    You are right it would be totally wrong and a bad parent of you. I’d probably report you to child protective services, and thats why if i worked for the airline I’d take away your free seat assignments, because you’d pay to keep reserved seats, you don’t really have much of a choice. I’d actually increase the seat reservation charge too $100 plus the seat reservation fee, as a cleaning charge since you fly with a child under 1 year old.

    I wouldn’t be sitting next to your child because i only sit in Aisle seats.

    Can your mother “sit” by herself, it’s a seat, she doesn’t need to walk, or stand, and if you need to attend to her, then pay for reserved seats, because again you don’t really have much choice.

  • Lindabator

    My POINT here, was that if it is important enough to me, I will pay for those seats – so why should someone else feel they are entitled to a free pass because they CANNOT afford to pay (because they have a large family going). If you can’t afford the luggage charges, seat charges, etc, you can’t afford to fly. Expecting everyone else to have to pay, but not thinking you should because…. is just ridiculous.

  • Benjamin Barnett

    Don’t know about this case, but I flew on American once DFW-GUA and the only award tickets available were in first class, and flying a different day wasn’t an option. Had it been more than myself and daughter (like the rest of my family), I would have had to pay for them to be in economy. Wife and I would have separated though, to supervise all the kids.

  • mythsayer

    Really? My boarding passes didn’t have confirmed seats?

    Did you miss the part where I checked in and had printed boarding passes with the seats on them?

    If that isn’t confirmed, then what is the freaking definition of confirmed? How can anyone rely upon anything at that point? I had to check bags when I got to the airport. I had already checked in the night before and gotten my boarding passes, but I still had to check the bags. The seats were STILL on my reservation when I arrived at the airport and checked my bags.

    They were taken from me at the gate, 20 minutes before boarding.

    How in god’s name is that not a confirmed seat? You’re (and not so much you, but the airlines at this point) are really stretching the definition of “confirmed” if you can have assigned seats all the way up to getting on the airplane.

  • mythsayer

    See… I don’t think you quite understood. I HAD ALREADY CHECKED IN WITH MY SEATS ON MY BOARDING PASSES. They were taken from me AFTER I checked in. And there was no option to pay at that point.

  • mythsayer

    Okay… let me make this simple for you, since you apparently think I am stupid (and I am not, I assure you).

    A middle seat is pretty much never going to be a premium seats. Okay? Do we possibly agree here?

    So why in god’s name should I have to pay to reserve both a window seat AND a crappy middle seat?

    You’re apparently a capitalist and that’s totally fine and I don’t have an issue with your “everyone pays for their reserved seat” in principle.

    But that’s not how it works right now. Right now, airlines block out certain seats that you can choose to pay to reserve.

    Then they have all these other seats that you can pick for free. That’s your “courtesy” seat assignment.

    But then why the frick should the airline just randomly get to decide they want to charge for that seat later? Why even BOTHER letting people reserve the seats at all?

    That’s my point. It’s arbitrary and random and not good customer service.

    Either make everyone pay to reserve or take your chance later. Or leave the free seats alone and let people have at it. As I said, why not just go all Southwest on everyone and assign at the airport? If people want to pay, let them pay. That makes more sense than letting people pick free seats, most of which aren’t even the good seats, only to have them arbitrarily taken away later.

    If I see free seats and I can pick them and I’m okay with them, then they should be mine. End of story. There is no legitimate reason why I should have to pay more LATER just because the airline decided they could get more money for the crappy middle seat I reserved along with my aisle or window seat.

    I’d even be okay with middle seats being free and you having to pony up money for an aisle or window seat.

    I am NOT okay with 50 seats being “free” to click on and attach to my reservation, and 100 seats being pay to reserve, only to find out that the airline has suddenly decided that they want more money from me.

    That’s a terrible business practice. They might as well just not let anyone reserve seats unless they want to pay. At least that’s a legitimate business practice.

    And I really, truly don’t understand how you can think that someone who has a boarding pass in hand with seat assignments on them doesn’t have confirmed seats. Honestly. They weren’t premium seats. They were just a middle seat and a window seat and they were on my reservation for 5 weeks and on my boarding pass all the way to the gate when for some reason I was the only one who got bumped. Again, how am I to know, when I’ve been checking my reservation constantly (because I do that… I’ve traveled a lot), that my seats that have never changed are going to be suddenly ripped from me right before boarding?

    And why do you think I had premium seats? I don’t understand why you think that? Where did I ever say they were premium seats? Or is your definition of a premium seat anything that isn’t a middle seat?

  • mythsayer

    And by the way, I pretty much ALWAYS pay for economy comfort seats. I rarely have this happen to me because I usually do pay. I didn’t this one time because it was a stupid flight from NJ to NC and there were plenty of seats to pick from, so I didn’t feel the need to pay $30 a seat (for a middle seat, no less) for a short flight. Especially when my seats remained the same through my check in and boarding pass. I still don’t understand why you think I was assigned seats at check in. I was reassigned AFTER check in.

  • mythsayer

    I’m more concerned with letting a little kid walk around an airport alone. There are crazies everywhere. And I’m far from a helicopter parent. I’m about the most hands off parent anywhere. I’d stick my 6 year old (which I don’t have… she’s 4) in a random seat on a plane if I had to. But I don’t think I’d be cool letting her walk around an airport. Not all 6 year olds can even read well.

  • mythsayer

    I agree with that. I have one guy up there arguing with me that it was my fault my 7 month old was moved to the seat in front of mine even though I’d reserved seats together (the free ones) and had them on my boarding passes AFTER checkin. They were taken from me when I got to the gate. When I checked my bags 20 minutes earlier, they were still on my reservation. That’s taking the seat moving thing to ludicrous levels. If you’ve checked in and have the seats, they should be yours. They shouldn’t be able to just move you at that point. And if they do, move you together. This seat moving crap bothers me.

    We might as well either do no seat assignments unless you want to pay, which is fair to everyone, or just keep middle seats free and pay if you want an aisle or window. This “lets keep these 50 seats free for now, but we’ll charge for them later if we can get away with it” is stupid.

  • mythsayer

    I just feel like they should either do away with “free” seats entirely (because they end up taking them away later to charge for them), or keep middle seats free and charge for everything else, or, if they are going to have free seats, keep those free. It’s the shuffling around I have an issue with.

    Don’t give the illusion of being able to book free seats and then say “oops, sorry, we realized someone was willing to pay for these… we’ll bump you.” That’s a terrible business practice.

  • mythsayer

    Then don’t give the option of having free seats at all. Just charge for them all. It’s basically bait and switch to have a bundle of seats you can pick only to have them removed from that bundle later. If I had to pay for seats because that was the only option, I would. But if there is an option for free seats, and I’m okay with those seats, they should remain in the “free” bundle.

    And you know what? I have a serious issue with the way you characterize children. My child has never thrown up on a plane. Never made a mess on a plane. And pretty much never disturbed anyone on a plane. We lived in Japan for three years and we flew back and forth many, many times. I am VERY well versed in air travel. I pack light, rarely check bags because I can live on practically nothing, and the fact that you think parents should pay extra for kids who already have a seat assignment is just wrong.

    I can’t tell if you’re a nice person who likes trolling or whether you really just hate kids.

  • mythsayer

    My mother has to get up to go to the bathroom many times during a long flight. She can’t do that by herself. She has incontinence. That means she needs someone to help her out of her seat, to the bathroom, and back again. If she needs something else, like something from her bag, then that has to be gotten from her to. She has extreme neurological damage which requires her to get up and stretch every once in a while, too.

    So yes, while she is capable of “sitting” by herself, she needs help to do some basic things. On a flight back from Japan, she actually fell on the plane and had to be helped up by my dad and some other people. But I suppose you think she shouldn’t fly because disabled people should probably just lock themselves away in their houses so they don’t bother the rest of society.

    But you know what really, really bothers me? It’s the fact that there ARE still FREE SEATS TO RESERVE. I DO NOT have a problem with paying for seat reservations when everyone else has to do so. I do, however, have an issue paying for them when people A through R over here got to keep their free seats, regardless of when they checked in or whatever. But people S through Z over here were bumped for some known only to the airline reason.

    Just charge everyone. That would be fair.

    And by the way, Delta allows people with disabilities to sit in economy comfort for free, so usually this isn’t an issue for us. Otherwise, I pay (see, I said I PAY) to put myself and my kid in economy comfort, because I like the extra amenities. You seem to think I’m some cheapo loser. No. I’m actually a middle class professional and I’m willing to pay a little more. But I do have an issue with the way certain things are handled. Either charge everyone and don’t let anyone pick seats without paying, or keep

  • PsyGuy

    Why should I pay for a seat reservation when I don’t care where I sit? I don’t have to babysit people. Why should I subsidize your family issues?
    I love passengers like your mom, they just there, they don’t fight for the armrest, they just sit there and stare., not bothering anyone. The airline loves it too, because your a good daughter, and now you know that if you want to sit together your going to pay for reserved seats, because you know now that if you don’t pay, your seat reservations can change and be taken from you at anytime. You’re a good daughter and love your family so you’re going to pay in the future.

  • PsyGuy

    Well now you know there really is no such thing as a free reserved seat. If you really want to sit with someone you need to pay.

    Why should I pay for a seat reservation, when I don’t care where I sit? Why should I subsidize your family issues? You’re the one with the “want”, you’re the one who should pay.

  • PsyGuy

    I got the impression she’d done this often, as she flew back and forth between her mother’s place and father’s place.

  • PsyGuy

    Well now you know that if you want to reserve a seat you pay, regardless of the flight capacity at that time or how long the flight is. If you want to save $30, then you roll the dice and you take your chances.

  • PsyGuy

    No, we don’t agree. A middle seat in a bulkhead aisle is a premium seat. A middle seat anywhere else compared to a seat in front of the back row toilet is a premium seat. A middle seat next to a seat that you want could be a premium seat. There are several scenarios where a middle seat could be a premium seat.

    You should have to pay because you want it. The rational, justifications, etc, are irrelevant, do you want that seat, for whatever reason, enough to pay for it. That is what matters.

    Yes that is how it works. Why, because thats how human behavior works (it’s the principal of commitment and consistency) when people identify with something as “theirs” they will take actions to keep it. So if I give you something, or give you a couple things (like seats next to each other), I can then turn around later and require you to pay for them, because you have now identified ownership in those seats, and will pay to keep them, and it would be in my interest to make that demand when you check in at the airline gate, because you don’t have time to pursue other options (such as going back to see if you can find some free seat reservations together), your either going to pay to keep everyone together or o keep the seats you picked, or your going to just accept the assignments your given, which might ruin your trip, or cause you anxiety.

    Why not go southwest, because that leaves money on the table. The airlines now who is sitting on the plane, they know who bought tickets for which seats, and they know that if they “randomly or arbitrarily” change your seats, then there is a good chance they can make some money by getting you to pay for reserved seats. How is that a bad business model?

    It doesn’t matter if it’s a “good seat” because that attribution of quality is in your mind not the airlines, they know all seats are the same. The issue is your perception of quality going to generate some revenue for the company. If I have two candy bars identical in all ways except one has a small tear in the wrapper, and the one with the tear costs $.97 and the one without the tear cost $1.00 I made $.03 in additional profit based on your perceptions of quality. That’s free money in the bank.

    Yes, there is a reason, it’s so they can get more money. That’s how business works. That’s a great business practice.

    How do you know, it’s really simple, P-A-Y – F-O-R – T-H-E-M.

    How do I know it’s not a confirmed seat, because it can be taken away and reassigned, since there is no right to a seat reservation in the CoC. You don’t own your seat reservation. Even after sitting down and stowing your carry on getting your mom and kids all situated, the FA can ask you to change seats, why because failure to follow the instructions of a FA is a criminal offense and you can be denied travel, de-boarded for failure to comply with crew member instructions.

    My definition and the airlines definition of a premium seat is any seat that will generate additional revenue.

  • PsyGuy

    I understand that, do you understand that at no time is your seat assured until the flight is over. You have no ownership rights in your seat in the CoC. The lesson the airline is attempting to teach you is that if you want reserved seats pay for them each and every time.

  • PsyGuy

    Really those seats aren’t yours until the flight is over, and you occupied that seat for the duration. Really you could be asked (required) to change seats in the middle of the flight at 30,000 ft.

    Boarding passes are nothing more then paper and ink, they are a convenience to the airline to facilitate their boarding procedure and inventory control. They could just as easily scan your passport at boarding see that your a ticketed passenger and the computer generate a seat assignment for you at boarding.

    See thats how you know they weren’t confirmed and confirmed means nothing. Passengers can be denied boarding minutes before departure, if a full fare walk up passenger buys a ticket. They will put that passenger on the plane, and bump you or anyone else. They would be smart to attempt to bump you, meaning your mother and child would have to travel alone, and then require you to pay an unaccompanied minor fee, or pay the difference between your discounted fair and full economy fair at the gate. Then bump someone else.

  • BMG4ME

    This is the perfect fee for an airline that doesn’t want to make any money. Hey Airline, I want to pay extra money for premium seats, while not spoiling my kids. Airline: Sorry, we don’t want your money or if we do, the first class seats really cost $100 more than we said. That’s basically what they are saying. How absurd this is.

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