When reader Anayah booked a ticket for her little sister to come visit her in New York, she specifically asked Delta if there would be a fee for an unaccompanied minor. They told her (twice) that since her sister was 14, there would be no fee. When Anayah’s family got to the gate Delta informed them that there would be a charge of $100 each way. Anayah’s mother could not afford to pay this fee and, since Delta would not allow Anayah to pay the fee in person at the ticket counter in New York, there would be an additional charge of $100 to pay by phone. The confusion caused her sister to miss her flight, and now Delta wants another fee to rebook her.
Here’s Anayah’s letter to Delta:
To Whom It May Concern:
I have never felt as hustled by an airline as I have been on this day. When I booked the fee for my younger sister to come visit me in New York from Chicago, I called in to Delta to find out what the procedure is for a minor to fly on Delta. I was told on 2 different occasions by customer service representatives that if she was 14 or older, she would be able to fly without paying a fee in addition to the $306 plane ticket… only to have my mother and sister embarrassed at the ticket counter when they were told she would have to pay an additional fee that our mother (who accompanied her to the airline) cannot afford.
When our mother tried to arrange to have me pay it at the ticket counter, she was advised that it COULD NOT be paid in person, only over the phone. When I called to make the payment over the phone on her behalf, we learned that there was an ADDITIONAL $100 fee for paying over the phone to the already additional $100 unaccompanied minor fee on a $306 TICKET!
In speaking with a representative over the phone, we also learned that a previous representative had already entered that they advised us about the fee when they DIDN’T! Instead of telling us that we would have to pay the fee so we could make arrangements for that sooner, the person noted her age in the account and told us we WOULD NOT have to pay a fee.
In all of this confusion, my little sister has missed her flight and we’re being made to PAY ANOTHER FEE to rebook her. In the past 12 years, I’ve missed countless flights in at least 5 countries – some missed flights were my fault, others the airlines’ – never have I had to pay to be rebooked for them.
I am absolutely shocked and disgusted that at a time when our country is in an economic recession and people are choosing to travel by air less and less that Delta would see fit to discourage another customer from ever flying with your airline by extorting a series of irrational (at least irrationally priced, notified, and collected) fees. I know that they are irrational because the final representative with whom I spoke did not charge the ridiculous additional $100 fee to rebook by phone. While I greatly appreciated his gesture, I see that it was all a game to hustle as much money as possible from the beginning, or else I would have been able to make all of the changes by phone without the additional $100 phone fees (x2 for 2 different “services”) and [my sister] would not have missed her original flight.
We looked up Delta’s unaccompanied minor policy and they do indeed charge $100 each way, for anyone 14 and under. The fees are collected at the airport ticket counter when the child checks in.
Delta’s policy is not unusual or unclear, and their customer service representatives should have advised you of the fee when you asked them about it, especially if they noted your sister’s age on the account, and they should have waived the $100 “phone” fee before your sister missed her flight — not after.
What a mess!