3 On Your Side

Airline denies international flight for teenage sisters

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A Gilbert man ordered airlines tickets through a website and it turned out to be a nightmare. (Source: 3TV) A Gilbert man ordered airlines tickets through a website and it turned out to be a nightmare. (Source: 3TV)
Rick Edens bought tickets for his daughters but ran into some trouble for their flight back. (Source: 3TV) Rick Edens bought tickets for his daughters but ran into some trouble for their flight back. (Source: 3TV)
United has a strict policy of no minors being allowed to fly without an adult under a certain age limit. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) United has a strict policy of no minors being allowed to fly without an adult under a certain age limit. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Aer Lingus handed one of the return flights to United Airlines. (Source: 3TV) Aer Lingus handed one of the return flights to United Airlines. (Source: 3TV)
Edens had to shell out nearly $1,000 for last minute airline tickets from another airline that allowed his daughters to get back home. (Source: 3TV) Edens had to shell out nearly $1,000 for last minute airline tickets from another airline that allowed his daughters to get back home. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A Gilbert man said when he booked international airlines tickets for his two teenage daughters, he said booking the round trip tickets was relatively easy. But during the process, he says someone dropped the ball and it wasn't him.

“My oldest daughter is Chloe and she is 15. My youngest is Emma and she is 14,” Rick Edens said.

Edens lives here in the Valley, but his two teenage daughters live in Germany with their biological mom. 

“They've lived there for two years now and they come back and forth every summer to come see us,” Edens said.

Getting the girls to fly unaccompanied has never been a problem before, which is why they've made the journey a couple of times in the past.

“We plan for it. We have vacations planned. We set up times to go camping or whatever,” Edens said.

This year, Edens says he booked two round trip tickets for his daughters through an online travel website called CheapFlightsFares.com and the flights wound up being assigned to an international airline company called Aer Lingus for a total cost of just over $2,250.

“They got here just fine, no hiccups. I never knew there was [sic] any hiccups,” Edens said.

Traveling here certainly wasn't a problem. However, getting the two girls back to Germany turned into a nightmare.

That's because Aer Lingus handed one of the return flights to United Airlines and United has a strict policy of no minors being allowed to fly without an adult under a certain age limit. 

“They said they were not allowed on the flight. And I'm like, 'What do you mean they're not allowed on the flight?'” Edens said.

Edens said, it just didn't make sense. And if that no minors allowed is such a strict policy, he wanted to know why no one flagged it when he provided his two daughters' ages and dates of birth during booking.

“It allowed me to go all the way through it and purchase it like there was no problem and they got here and I thought there was no problem,” Edens said.

As a result, Edens had to shell out nearly $1,000 for last minute airline tickets from another airline that allowed his daughters to get back home. 

"So I would love to be reimbursed for that or just credited another flight next year when they come back,” Edens said. 

3 On Your Side got involved and we contacted CheapFlightsFares.com. After several weeks, they finally emailed us back saying they needed more information.  

3 On Your Side provided it again, but the website is still dragging its feet.

As for Aer Lingus, after numerous attempts to get a hold of them, they finally responded to our inquiries. They apologized and said they would work on getting a refund to Edens. 

Edens says this has been a very expensive lesson.

“I will not do another travel agency again. I'll call straight to the airlines,” Edens said.

3 On Your Side will do a follow-up once we have more details on the refund amount and once Edens does in fact receive it. 

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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