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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

United Airlines Forgets Young Passenger Julien Reid, Force-Feeds Him McDonald's

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 8:45 AM

click to enlarge First United gets everyone to refer to Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' as 'The United Airlines Song' ... and now this
  • First United gets everyone to refer to Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' as 'The United Airlines Song' ... and now this
United Airlines is facing a brewing Internet-driven PR disaster following a boy's horrible, horrible flight out of San Francisco

Julien Reid, 9, has told his parents that he was forgotten for eight hours in Chicago's O'Hare Airport, and -- pardon our French, young Julien -- generally treated like shit by the airline.

United, incidentally, mandates that unaccompanied fliers under age 12 pay a $99 additional fee. That non-negotiable fee exists to "ensure

that your child is boarded onto the aircraft, introduced to the flight

attendant, chaperoned during connections and turned over to the

appropriate person upon arrival at their final destination."

click to enlarge Julien Reed - KGO
  • KGO
  • Julien Reed

That apparently didn't happen with young Julien, however. He claims he sat for eight hours in a waiting room, missed his flight to Ottawa, watched the same film repeatedly, was made to eat McDonald's food even though he's a vegetarian, and was yelled at by the United attendant. Reid, who had been visiting his father in San Francisco, eventually called his mother in Canada to let her know all of the above. She then spoke with United personnel on the phone -- and was none too pleased.

"He didn't know he was being forgotten; everybody kept telling him his

flight was delayed. ... Hours went by. He was completely unaware," Reid's mother, Genevieve Harte, told the Chicago Tribune.  

United, for its part, has provided a refund of the childcare fee. Unless we're mistaken, that's $99 back to the Reids for this ordeal.

Going out on a limb, we're predicting it'll take more than that to clean up this budding PR mess for the airline.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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