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Customers raging at airlines on Twitter and other social media is becoming all the rage.  Just last week we had Delta kicking 5 people off of a flight for a “safety” issue.  And of course, the bigger you are on social media, the more your story gets picked up.  This time it’s Delta back in the news again, with actress Busy Phillips tweeting them (since deleted)

Hey @Delta! Thanks for cancelling my flight and then rerouting us and separating my MINOR child onto a different flight than mine and having a 2 HR call time wait! You are terrible!

a person standing in front of a screen

Delta’s response

Delta responded that “We apologize for the inconvenience this caused Ms. Philipps. Delta worked quickly to resolve the rebooking issue and coordinated directly with the customer to adjust their travel,”

It turns out that Ms. Phillips was on an itinerary with her 4 year old daughter Cricket, but her 9 year old daughter, Birdie, was on a separate itinerary.  When their original flight was canceled, Delta’s system automatically re-accommodated all the passengers, but separated the 2 itineraries (routing one through Minneapolis and one through Detroit).

When Delta was alerted that this had happened, they reached out to put the 3 family members together, though they were not able to be accommodated all together until 2:30 in the morning

But something doesn’t add up

Delta’s IT system is not known for being great, but there’s still something that doesn’t add up with this story.  First of all, when flying together as a family, you should do whatever you can to all stay on one itinerary (record locator).  Had all 3 of them been on the same itinerary I feel 100% confident that they all would have been re-routed together.

But what is strange to me is that as far as I know, it is impossible for you to book your 9 year old on their own itinerary online.  I have actually had to do this myself when flying with my daughter.  I wanted to use gift cards for one of our tickets and points for the other, and I had to call in and book my daughter’s flight separately.  And also the agent had to note on the reservation (in some back-end Delta system) that we were traveling together since otherwise I would have been charged an unaccompanied minor fee.

So I don’t know how this 9 year old was able to book a ticket.  The only thing I can think of is that Ms. Phillips (or, more likely, an assistant?), called in and booked the ticket and did have it flagged as an unaccompanied minor? Maybe the 9 year old was not originally going to fly with the family but was added later on?  It’s also possible that the note that the 2 reservations were linked did not survive the re-routing process.

Readers do you have any other suggestions for what might have happened?

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