Bon Voyage – May 15 – By Maria

While the Texas Roadies drive to Milan,  Natalia is getting ready for her flight to Italy.  I am going to miss her.  Her American Airlines ticket to Milan is via North Carolina and London’s Heathrow.  I took her to DFW and asked American Airlines if I could pay for the unaccompanied minor service.  America Airlines told me that my daughter was not a minor because she is 16.  According to American Airlines minors are 12 and under.  Seriously??

This is news to me!  Has the legal definition of a minor changed?  Can establishments create their own definition of a minor?  Can restaurants change the definition of a minor on their premises and serve alcohol to everyone over 12??  I don’t think so.

Obviously companies can decide who they want to provide their services to as long as they don’t discriminate.  But you would think that American Airlines realizes that they can make more money…Yes MONEY..if they offer this service to all legal minors. Parents, like myself, will pay MONEY for peace of mind.  Someone tell American Airlines to call me.

Then to further aggravate me American Airlines informs me that the second reason they cannot provide the service is because British Airways will fly the leg from London to Milan.  Wait one second.  Who did I buy the ticket from?  Was it American Airlines?  Do I have privity of contract with British Airways?  NO!  I purchased a ticket from American.  I did not get to choose who flew the leg from London to Milan, American Airlines has a separate contract with British Airways and I do not know the terms.

Contracts 101.  I contract with entity A “Original Contractor”.  Entity A subcontracts the work to Entity B.   I do not  have privity of contract with Entity B.   Entity A is  responsible to me for the actions of Entity B.

American Airlines…I am not happy with you.

I spoke to Natalia and gave her all kinds of advice. She kept assuring me that she would be fine.  I was not so sure, she is such a nice person.  I told her she needed to act more like me..MEAN.

We chatted on our iPhones as she went through the snake-like security line.  I waited till I absolutely could not see my daughter and then I walked back to my car thinking about my options.

There was ONE rainbow in the sky.  DFW Airport has its own governance structure.  I called Elaine Flud Rodriguez, the General Counsel for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.  I met Elaine at a General Counsel Forum meeting and fortunately she remembered me.  As a mother, Elaine understood my concern that my 16-year-old daughter was traveling internationally, by herself, for the first time.  Elaine called Kevin Smith, the AVP of Terminal Management at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.  Kevin contacted people at different airports and informed me when my daughter checked into her flights and when she made her final destination. Elaine, Kevin, and other great people at DFW International Airport took my headache away and gave me more than pain relief, they gave me calm.

Natalia also called me from every gate before her plane took off.  I still did not sleep until I heard her and my husband’s voice on the phone from Milan. If not for DFW Airport and the fine, service oriented people who work there, I would have been a colossal wreck.  Thank you DFW for saving the day!  Thank you God for getting my precious daughter safely to her destination.

My precious Natalia at DFW

3 thoughts on “Bon Voyage – May 15 – By Maria

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