I purchased tickets for my sons, aged 15/17, by calling United on 7 September. The representative entered their details, as I could not purchase the tickets online due to their ages. There was no stated requirement or charges for unaccompanied minor, and the flight was booked. On November 19, 2016, my boys checked in at the ticket counter with their mother, were given boarding passes by United, and proceeded to the gate. The ticket agent indicated their mother did not need to go back with them. As they attempted to board, the gate agent, Cedric, prevented their boarding, indicating they were in violation of the unaccompanied minor policy. He indicated the policy was changed in 2015 to align with other airlines, and directed them back to ticketing. Not only is this false, as American allows a 15 year old to fly unaccompanied, but United had two opportunities to raise this issue before my boys arrived at the boarding gate! This should have been addressed during my original purchase or at their DFW check in, but was not. As a result, we have all been greatly inconvenienced, and I have been held hostage to a $300 expense just to see my boys for the holidays!
Note that I spent over an hour (45 mins waiting) on the phone with the call center, speaking with Grace and the supervisor, Stacy. The call was a waste of time, as I was told only the ticketing agent at DFW could respond to my complaint. When asked to provide a number to call...I was advised there was no number. ...all she could offer was "sorry"... So I advised Stacey that "sorry" does not address the issue. And, that I would be notifying DOT's Aviation Consumer Protection Division (ACPD), this site, and writing to United directly.