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Help with airline please!

Help with airline please!

Old May 31st 2005, 9:38 pm
  #1  
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Default Help with airline please!

Some people already know that due to tragic circumstances, I will have to fly my 15-year-old daughter back to the UK from the US alone to visit her dad, who has terminal cancer. Unfortunately I can't go with her - no AP

Anyway I was looking at orbitz.com and expedia.com and they are saying I can't book that way because she's only 15. Does anyone know a way around this, my local travel agent is not very good and I don't really want to phone the airlines direct, as then I won't be able to compare prices with others. Any suggestions please? Thanks guys.
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Old May 31st 2005, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

If you phone the airlines direct you quite often get a good price. But in your case you may be able to get a compassionate fare, as far as I am aware that can only be done directly through the airline.
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Old May 31st 2005, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

Originally Posted by Duncan Roberts
If you phone the airlines direct you quite often get a good price. But in your case you may be able to get a compassionate fare, as far as I am aware that can only be done directly through the airline.
Ditto. Go directly to an airline. You have exceptional circumstances so they'll help, I'm sure. I'm so sorry for your sad situation.
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Old May 31st 2005, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

Originally Posted by Maz
Ditto. Go directly to an airline. You have exceptional circumstances so they'll help, I'm sure. I'm so sorry for your sad situation.
Thanks, Duncan and Maz. I'll look into those options.
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Old May 31st 2005, 11:01 pm
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

I don't know about these days, they do generally prefer to be 16 or older to fly alone, but give them a try, they could work with you, virgin and BA are normally pretty good in these cases...but having said that, when I was a kid, 9, I flew to Japan on my own, so don't know what the fuss is all about these days...

Good luck
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Old May 31st 2005, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

You can 't book over the internet for a minor travelling alone.We are looking into a flight for our 13 year old and have to go through a travel agent.Hope you are able to get things sorted.
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Old Jun 1st 2005, 12:11 am
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

Originally Posted by dbark
Some people already know that due to tragic circumstances, I will have to fly my 15-year-old daughter back to the UK from the US alone to visit her dad, who has terminal cancer. Unfortunately I can't go with her - no AP

Anyway I was looking at orbitz.com and expedia.com and they are saying I can't book that way because she's only 15. Does anyone know a way around this, my local travel agent is not very good and I don't really want to phone the airlines direct, as then I won't be able to compare prices with others. Any suggestions please? Thanks guys.
Why don't you want to phone an airline? These days, some airlines have a policy where they claim to have the cheapest fare if you book directly with them.

Also, by contacting the airline direct, you can ask about the fare applicable for traveling to visit people who are seriously or life threatening ill. I don't think you could ever obtain this fare (not necessarily the cheapest offered by the airline) via their website or any other airfare website.

As for a teenager traveling alone, your best bet surely would be to contact an airline direct anyway instead of booking through a airfare website like Orbitz or Travelocity.

I wish you luck!



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Old Jun 1st 2005, 12:35 am
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

When my kids visit here we always have to go through a travel agent or the airline direct.

Hope all goes well

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Old Jun 1st 2005, 1:08 am
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

Compassionate fares are very few and far between these days. Even when you do get them, they are often not cheaper than regular fares. Mad I know but I think airlines got burned one too many times by lies.

Nonetheless, I do feel for your situation and am thinking of you....
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Old Jun 1st 2005, 1:17 am
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

Originally Posted by dbark
Some people already know that due to tragic circumstances, I will have to fly my 15-year-old daughter back to the UK from the US alone to visit her dad, who has terminal cancer. Unfortunately I can't go with her - no AP

Anyway I was looking at orbitz.com and expedia.com and they are saying I can't book that way because she's only 15. Does anyone know a way around this, my local travel agent is not very good and I don't really want to phone the airlines direct, as then I won't be able to compare prices with others. Any suggestions please? Thanks guys.
Sorry to hear about your difficult situation. I agree with the suggestion of ringing the airline direct - they almost always match the cheapest fair quoted on the internet.

One additional suggestion: try ringing them in the 'small hours'. With any luck you'll get an agent who is bored and has plenty of time to deal with your special needs. If you ring during the day you are likely to be kept on hold for a long time and may get someone who is harrassed and stressed.

All the best,

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Old Jun 1st 2005, 1:47 am
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

So sorry to hear about your sad news Dbark.

As everyone has said look for lowest fares on expedia then call direct the lowest airlines direct and check if they offer compassionate fares. They are not always the lowest fares so also want ask them if they can waive the advance purchase restrictions on any sale or low fares. Say you can provide a hospital/doctor letter if necessary (they are usually more willing to work with you).

Basically it's the advance purchase, or lack of it in this case, that makes the rate so high (since it's mainly business people that book last minute they jack up the fares). If compassionate aren't available try and find a travel agency that specializes in flighst to UK as they should have a contract with net rates that will let tehm waive advance purchase restrictions. This all depends on how busy the flights look. You may be able to use frequent flier points (if you have them ) as the airlines will often waive last minute restrictions.

Unaccommpanied minors need to be organized directly to make sure they follow procedure as each airline has different rules/age restrictions untrackable on fare search engines.

Good luck. Hope it works out for you.

Looselips

Last edited by looselips; Jun 1st 2005 at 1:49 am.
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Old Jun 1st 2005, 7:01 am
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

Find another travel agent. Part of the point of a travel agent is to help you do just this - you don't need the added stress of trying to sort it out yourself. Any good travel agent will be able to find the best options for you and your daughter.

As she's 15, do you think she's basically okay to manage on her own with a bit of help from staff, or do you want her to be accompanied all the way? The first option is called "Meet and Assist" and is generally offered for older passengers. Not all airlines offer this service, so check first. If you want someone to be with her the whole way, ask for the "Unaccompanied Minor" service (airline code for this is UMNR). Different airlines have different age cut-offs, so without a travel agent you'll need to phone round them all.

Alternatively, if you know she can manage on her own and doesn't need any help at all, just book her on a regular website as an adult. She can then ask for directions herself if she needs to.
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Old Jun 1st 2005, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

Any luck with this, dbark?
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Old Jun 1st 2005, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

Originally Posted by Maz
Any luck with this, dbark?

I replied to her pm with my work email but I haven't heard a word from her, . It's fairly quiet today so I've got time to do some checking for her.
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Old Jun 2nd 2005, 10:27 am
  #15  
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Default Re: Help with airline please!

Originally Posted by cindyabs
I replied to her pm with my work email but I haven't heard a word from her, . It's fairly quiet today so I've got time to do some checking for her.
Sorry about that. I didn't really get online all day yesterday. I've been talking to my daughter. She is scared about going and therefore putting it off, saying she'll go in a few weeks. Finally I believe she is ready for me to find a flight for her. So in a few hours when travel agents/airline offices are fully functional, I'll be talking to them. Cindy, I'm sending you a pm.

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