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(CNBC)   American Airlines continues their renewed customer service push by adding a $150 babysitting fee for all unaccompanied minors   (cnbc.com ) divider line
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1211 clicks; posted to Business » on 22 Aug 2014 at 12:42 PM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-22 09:54:48 AM  
And they'll still somehow send the kids' bags to Tokyo instead of Toledo.
 
2014-08-22 09:55:32 AM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: And they'll still somehow send the kids' bags to Tokyo instead of Toledo.


Given a choice, I think I'd rather be in Tokyo than Toledo.
 
2014-08-22 09:58:01 AM  

BizarreMan: Grand_Moff_Joseph: And they'll still somehow send the kids' bags to Tokyo instead of Toledo.

Given a choice, I think I'd rather be in Tokyo than Toledo.


On that we agree, lol.  :)
 
2014-08-22 09:59:52 AM  
"...it will charge a $150 fee each way for minors between 12 and 14 who fly alone."

Don't we normally pay kids that age to babysit?
 
2014-08-22 10:02:05 AM  

ginandbacon: "...it will charge a $150 fee each way for minors between 12 and 14 who fly alone."

Don't we normally pay kids that age to babysit?


Lol, true.

Though, wouldn't this be tilted heavily against divorced parents?  Say Dad needs to ship both kids to Mom's place for the summer.  That's $600 in child fees on top of the bag fees, and on top of the fare itself.
 
2014-08-22 10:13:47 AM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: ginandbacon: "...it will charge a $150 fee each way for minors between 12 and 14 who fly alone."

Don't we normally pay kids that age to babysit?

Lol, true.

Though, wouldn't this be tilted heavily against divorced parents?  Say Dad needs to ship both kids to Mom's place for the summer.  That's $600 in child fees on top of the bag fees, and on top of the fare itself.


I'd like to know what *exactly* the airlines think they are doing that warrants this surcharge. My brother and I flew on our own pretty frequently from about ages 8 and 6 and up and I can't recall much effort on anybody's part except to check us in and verify the ID of the adults picking us up. Well that and they had coloring books but those lost their appeal after not many hours.
 
2014-08-22 10:17:09 AM  
It was already $100 the last few times I had to do it, and that was almost 10 years ago.

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Though, wouldn't this be tilted heavily against divorced parents? Say Dad needs to ship both kids to Mom's place for the summer. That's $600 in child fees on top of the bag fees, and on top of the fare itself.


Of course. Don't ask silly questions. When you get divorced, continue living in the same town as your meth-head stalker ex and stop being so hard to get along with.
 
2014-08-22 10:20:50 AM  

cryinoutloud: When you get divorced, continue living in the same town as your meth-head stalker ex and stop being so hard to get along with.


Sage advice indeed.  xD

/I hope that wasn't said out of your own life experience
//if so, my apologies for the snark then
 
2014-08-22 12:07:33 PM  
I'll pay them $200 to just toss the kid in with the luggage.
 
2014-08-22 12:12:40 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: ginandbacon: "...it will charge a $150 fee each way for minors between 12 and 14 who fly alone."

Don't we normally pay kids that age to babysit?

Lol, true.

Though, wouldn't this be tilted heavily against divorced parents?  Say Dad needs to ship both kids to Mom's place for the summer.  That's $600 in child fees on top of the bag fees, and on top of the fare itself.


Sadly this is what my brother goes thru.  I am sure his ex (who has custody of his kids) will use this as yet another roadblock on why he cant see his kids.  Or she will blackmail him" you need to send me an extra $600 or you can see the kids for 3 months".

Not that my brother is a parent of the year candidate anyways.  But he loves them and only gets to see them every 3 months now as it is.
 
2014-08-22 12:29:19 PM  
This is just an out & out cash grab by the airlines.  5-11, ok as you do need to have an employee meet the plane at the gate & take the kids to the next flight & wait for it to leave or take them to the parent/grandparent & sign them over.  I didn't particularly like it but I understood the fee when my kids were younger.  By 12-14 though, they're in junior high, perfectly able to read & navigate an airport (one with sealed exits & plenty of people around to ask for help if needed) and like mentioned upthread, old enough to be responsible enough to babysit other little kids themselves.  There is no reason for the airlines to be insisting on this unless the parent wants it (certainly by age 13-14 it can be parent optional).

Between all the assorted fees that can quickly add a couple hundred dollars to the ticket & the inane security theater of the TSA, it really shouldn't be all that surprising why most people are opting to drive if they possibly can...
 
2014-08-22 12:35:59 PM  

LordZorch: I'll pay them $200 to just toss the kid in with the luggage.


it can get cold in there.  we'll have to give the kid a coat and some mittens.
 
2014-08-22 12:44:57 PM  
Couldn't this backfire on them SPECTACULARLY?

After all, if they're charging this 'fee', this means they are, in fact, taking responsibility for the child.

Thus, if something happens to the child, they are now liable.
 
2014-08-22 12:49:19 PM  

Felgraf: Couldn't this backfire on them SPECTACULARLY?

After all, if they're charging this 'fee', this means they are, in fact, taking responsibility for the child.

Thus, if something happens to the child, they are now liable.


Wait till they subcontract this service out to a third party with dubious background checks.
 
2014-08-22 12:53:27 PM  

Felgraf: Couldn't this backfire on them SPECTACULARLY?

After all, if they're charging this 'fee', this means they are, in fact, taking responsibility for the child.

Thus, if something happens to the child, they are now liable.


They were already liable is would suppose. Maybe this helps defray the cost of liability insurance.

/or maybe they just raise prices and fees wherever they think they can
 
2014-08-22 01:09:00 PM  
I deserved to be paid after being stuck next to a 8 year old boy and 12 year old girl flying alone. The airline's "babysitting" consisted of giving them cokes whenever they asked and smiling at me. I gave up my Kindle and GameBoy in order to help them through the six hour long flight.

The only benefit of the whole ordeal was watching the receiving mother's expression when her daughter came off the plane looking like a rodeo clown. The little girl had stolen her stepmother's bag of makeup and decided to apply it all during the flight.
 
2014-08-22 01:13:29 PM  
I have no problem with this at all.
 
2014-08-22 01:18:47 PM  
Does the fee include handing the children over to the wrong people like Delta does?

http://consumerist.com/2014/08/22/delta-hands-over-7-year-old-passen ge r-to-wrong-person/
 
2014-08-22 01:22:14 PM  

BalugaJoe: I have no problem with this at all.


Agreed.  I'm even more likely to fly American Airlines because of it.

I know a lot of people have kids and all - but let's face it...parents don't want me, a creepy old man, interacting with their children.  And I don't want to interact with their children.  I'm happy enough to pay extra money to AVOID children, because they act like, well, children.  The only reason I take my wife out to an expensive dinner over McDonald's (I *like* McDonald's!) is because there will be lots of annoying kids at McDonald's.

If AA charges a fee, and other airlines don't - I know AA is going to have fewer children without adults.  That's a good thing IMHO.
 
2014-08-22 01:29:28 PM  
A friend of mine sent her son out on a flight with no supervision when he was 13. He managed just fine, including changing planes in O'Hare by himself.
 
2014-08-22 01:32:10 PM  

Felgraf: Couldn't this backfire on them SPECTACULARLY?

After all, if they're charging this 'fee', this means they are, in fact, taking responsibility for the child.

Thus, if something happens to the child, they are now liable.


Ha! No. Corporations can't be held liable. What do you think they are, people?
 
2014-08-22 01:33:13 PM  
On direct flights, I'm not exactly sure where the responsibility is. You help them check in, walk to security, and leave. The process is reversed on landing. Most kids are smart enough to understand an airport's terminal-gate numbering system (even a semi-complicated one like Dallas-Ft Worth)
 
2014-08-22 01:37:35 PM  
They bought their tickets; they knew what they were getting into; I say: let 'em annoy the shiat out of all The other passengers
 
2014-08-22 01:41:11 PM  
Well, someone's got to pay for all the booze those kids drink...
 
2014-08-22 01:43:31 PM  
When do they implement the $500 surcharge for screaming babies and toddlers?
 
2014-08-22 01:47:17 PM  
They need to just do what they want, which is expand the whole plane to first class. A real business wouldn't cater to all the dirty poors and middle class anyway.
 
2014-08-22 01:57:03 PM  
Those brats board first. They should be paying more.
 
2014-08-22 01:59:01 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: BalugaJoe: I have no problem with this at all.

Agreed.  I'm even more likely to fly American Airlines because of it.

I know a lot of people have kids and all - but let's face it...parents don't want me, a creepy old man, interacting with their children.  And I don't want to interact with their children.  I'm happy enough to pay extra money to AVOID children, because they act like, well, children.  The only reason I take my wife out to an expensive dinner over McDonald's (I *like* McDonald's!) is because there will be lots of annoying kids at McDonald's.

If AA charges a fee, and other airlines don't - I know AA is going to have fewer children without adults.  That's a good thing IMHO.


I fly a crapload and it has never been an issue. Kids always behave well when they are surrounded by strangers.
 
2014-08-22 02:01:19 PM  

Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: When do they implement the $500 surcharge for screaming babies and toddlers?


Took a while for the "no child should ever fly anywhere" guy to show up.
 
2014-08-22 02:02:38 PM  

MyRandomName: Those brats board first. They should be paying more.


Not any more.
 
2014-08-22 02:09:01 PM  
I don't agree with this.

They should charge double for babies and kids under 10, however.
 
2014-08-22 02:19:37 PM  
Might mean less kids flying.  I'm OK with this.
 
2014-08-22 02:20:12 PM  
In b4 "fewer" pedants.
 
2014-08-22 02:22:19 PM  
This is some of the BS I figured was going to happen when they merged US and AA--they'd go with the policies that are less customer friendly (meals in first on flights under 3 hours, this unaccomanied minor fee, etc) and drag everything down to US Airways levels.

Mostly I'm pissed because I always book my daughter (13, so she's been handling it herself for 2 years now) on AA because they offer the best itineraries between here and where her mom lives, and that kid knows DFW like the back of her hand since she's gone through it with me numerous times since age 7.

So now I'll have to fork over an extra $300 round trip on an already somewhat expensive itinerary for absolutely no reason other than FARK you that's why.
 
2014-08-22 02:31:48 PM  
Fee is refundable (AA credit only) if we lose your kid.
 
2014-08-22 02:42:55 PM  
Oh good, another "hate kids on planes" thread.

I log over 100K miles per year and rarely have problems with kids. Babies cry because of pressure, not because they're brats. Kids are in a new environment and are going to be a little more amped up than usual, but in general they're quite interesting and pleasant to be with if you're not a jerk to them. Teens are usually pretty good unless they're in groups, when they tend to act up to impress each other.

However, they're minor annoyances. I've never seen a kid hold up a flight because they were drunk and late to board. I've never seen a kid assault a flight attendant. I've never seen a kid crush someone's fragile bag in overhead because they can't fit their 22kg "how the hell did that even fit through the x-ray machine" rollaboard. I've never been on a 12-hour flight next to a kid who hadn't bathed in a week.

And most of the time there is a "problem" with the kid, it's really a problem with the parents.
 
2014-08-22 02:46:20 PM  

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: Oh good, another "hate kids on planes" thread.

I log over 100K miles per year and rarely have problems with kids. Babies cry because of pressure, not because they're brats. Kids are in a new environment and are going to be a little more amped up than usual, but in general they're quite interesting and pleasant to be with if you're not a jerk to them. Teens are usually pretty good unless they're in groups, when they tend to act up to impress each other.

However, they're minor annoyances. I've never seen a kid hold up a flight because they were drunk and late to board. I've never seen a kid assault a flight attendant. I've never seen a kid crush someone's fragile bag in overhead because they can't fit their 22kg "how the hell did that even fit through the x-ray machine" rollaboard. I've never been on a 12-hour flight next to a kid who hadn't bathed in a week.

And most of the time there is a "problem" with the kid, it's really a problem with the parents.


I love the businessmen who on flights to/from Orlando biatch about the number of children on the plane.
 
2014-08-22 02:47:38 PM  
Problem solved.

thumbs.dreamstime.com
 
2014-08-22 02:48:45 PM  

ManateeGag: LordZorch: I'll pay them $200 to just toss the kid in with the luggage.

it can get cold in there.  we'll have to give the kid a coat and some mittens.


That's up to the parents. If they don't care enough to dress them properly, the state can go after them later with a strongly worded warning.
 
2014-08-22 03:19:08 PM  
Isn't it much cheaper to ship the kid as a pet?
 
2014-08-22 03:40:53 PM  

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: Oh good, another "hate kids on planes" thread.

I log over 100K miles per year and rarely have problems with kids. Babies cry because of pressure, not because they're brats. Kids are in a new environment and are going to be a little more amped up than usual, but in general they're quite interesting and pleasant to be with if you're not a jerk to them. Teens are usually pretty good unless they're in groups, when they tend to act up to impress each other.

However, they're minor annoyances. I've never seen a kid hold up a flight because they were drunk and late to board. I've never seen a kid assault a flight attendant. I've never seen a kid crush someone's fragile bag in overhead because they can't fit their 22kg "how the hell did that even fit through the x-ray machine" rollaboard. I've never been on a 12-hour flight next to a kid who hadn't bathed in a week.

And most of the time there is a "problem" with the kid, it's really a problem with the parents.


Hey now. Don't let us frequent fliers rain on the "I hate kids parade" for the people who fly once every 5 years and one time a kid made a noise.

On the list of flight annoyances kids/babies are about number #234.
 
2014-08-22 03:53:25 PM  

ginandbacon: Grand_Moff_Joseph: ginandbacon: "...it will charge a $150 fee each way for minors between 12 and 14 who fly alone."

Don't we normally pay kids that age to babysit?

Lol, true.

Though, wouldn't this be tilted heavily against divorced parents?  Say Dad needs to ship both kids to Mom's place for the summer.  That's $600 in child fees on top of the bag fees, and on top of the fare itself.

I'd like to know what *exactly* the airlines think they are doing that warrants this surcharge. My brother and I flew on our own pretty frequently from about ages 8 and 6 and up and I can't recall much effort on anybody's part except to check us in and verify the ID of the adults picking us up. Well that and they had coloring books but those lost their appeal after not many hours.


They were a huge pain in the ass back when I was a kid flying back and forth between family.

I'd been flying with just my sister since I was six, so when at 10 I started having to travel alone I knew what to do without a babysitter.  I kinda liked airports, in fact.  On your own you could browse the book store, walk the concourse, and get yourself some lunch before your next flight.  It was entertaining.  As an "unaccompanied minor", though, you'd be locked in a windowless, empty room, usually by yourself, through your whole layover.  And it seemed like half the time they didn't even remember to come collect you from the room in time for your connection.  You'd be sitting in there, looking at your watch, knocking on the door, wondering what the hell they were paid for.

The parents agreed we would just start lying about my age.  It should have been blatantly obvious, but no one cared back then.
 
2014-08-22 03:55:18 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: Felgraf: Couldn't this backfire on them SPECTACULARLY?

After all, if they're charging this 'fee', this means they are, in fact, taking responsibility for the child.

Thus, if something happens to the child, they are now liable.

They were already liable is would suppose. Maybe this helps defray the cost of liability insurance.

/or maybe they just raise prices and fees wherever they think they can


Why do you think that any price increase, for any good or service,  ever, since barter was invented, is anything but the latter?  Any seller who says otherwise is lying through their teeth.  They can choose to be less profitable, but boards will destroy the entire country before they accept one penny less profit, for so much as one hour.

I guarantee you the language is worded in such a way your kid can be kidnapped and sold as a sex slave for 40 years and 20 of hard labor after that and used for target practice for terrorists at the end and their liability is still precisely zero dollars.  It's not like bag fees entitle you to jack shiat when they lose your bag, smash something, or their employees rob you...  Er, the kind of robbery where they take stuff out of your bag, I mean, not the kind this fee is (and virtually all other fees are).
 
2014-08-22 04:16:49 PM  

TheOtherGuy: Debeo Summa Credo: Felgraf: Couldn't this backfire on them SPECTACULARLY?

After all, if they're charging this 'fee', this means they are, in fact, taking responsibility for the child.

Thus, if something happens to the child, they are now liable.

They were already liable is would suppose. Maybe this helps defray the cost of liability insurance.

/or maybe they just raise prices and fees wherever they think they can

Why do you think that any price increase, for any good or service,  ever, since barter was invented, is anything but the latter?  Any seller who says otherwise is lying through their teeth.  They can choose to be less profitable, but boards will destroy the entire country before they accept one penny less profit, for so much as one hour.

I guarantee you the language is worded in such a way your kid can be kidnapped and sold as a sex slave for 40 years and 20 of hard labor after that and used for target practice for terrorists at the end and their liability is still precisely zero dollars.  It's not like bag fees entitle you to jack shiat when they lose your bag, smash something, or their employees rob you...  Er, the kind of robbery where they take stuff out of your bag, I mean, not the kind this fee is (and virtually all other fees are).


That is exactly why I never fly USAirways anymore.
 
2014-08-22 04:21:35 PM  
What do you mean "unaccompanied"? He's flying with all those other schmucks sitting in coach!
 
2014-08-22 04:21:39 PM  
I wish the FTC would grow a pair and halt these sorts of fees.  The extra amount of time agents have to deal with these kids is not proportional to the increase in fare.  If the issue is about liability and increased insurance costs to the airline, allow the parents to get their own liability insurance.
 
2014-08-22 04:29:08 PM  
Give me a tranq gun and a cattle prod and I'll watch your farking kids.
 
2014-08-22 05:06:12 PM  

gimlet: I deserved to be paid after being stuck next to a 8 year old boy and 12 year old girl flying alone. The airline's "babysitting" consisted of giving them cokes whenever they asked and smiling at me. I gave up my Kindle and GameBoy in order to help them through the six hour long flight.

The only benefit of the whole ordeal was watching the receiving mother's expression when her daughter came off the plane looking like a rodeo clown. The little girl had stolen her stepmother's bag of makeup and decided to apply it all during the flight.


That's funny.
 
2014-08-22 05:08:44 PM  

mjohnson71: Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: When do they implement the $500 surcharge for screaming babies and toddlers?

Took a while for the "no child should ever fly anywhere" guy to show up.


Didn't say they shouldn't fly.

Try again later.
 
2014-08-22 05:12:26 PM  
gimlet:  The only benefit of the whole ordeal was watching the receiving mother's expression when her daughter came off the plane looking like a rodeo clown. The little girl had stolen her stepmother's bag of makeup and decided to apply it all during the flight.

Missed opportunity.  Should have walked up to the mother, wide eyed, and said the flight attendants turned her kid into a Juggalo.

"The entire flight, she kept asking for more Faygo!"
 
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