What You Should Know About Unaccompanied Children on a Flight

There are things that you should do if you are going to allow your child to fly alone. There are so many people who send children to certain destinations unaccompanied, and most of these trips are successful. However there are a few cases where kids get mixed up and sent to wrong airports which is why you need to make sure you take necessary precautions to ensure that your child is safe  before they travel.  You should also make su0re your child understands and i-s ready for the trip.

How Old should a Child Be For Them To Fly Solo?

A number of  airlines consider that children should fly alone when they are between the ages of 5 to 14. However for the ages between 15 and 17, unaccompanied minor service is normally optional. Most airlines will however not allow children 7 and under to board connecting flights. If a child is old enough to board connecting flights, airline personnel are there to assist them. If you are considering sending your minor child unaccompanied, you will be required to provide some information such as, child’s name, age as well as other relevant details.

Here are the ages that airlines may and may not allow to travel alone. The conditions and rules may vary depending on the airlines

  • Ages 1 to 4 are not allowed to fly alone because a child should be at least 5 to travel alone.
  • Ages 5 to 7 may be allowed to take a direct flight to a single destination and may not be allowed to ta-ke connecting flights.
  • Ages 8 and above may be allowed to change flights when flying alone, they may be accompanied by flight officials.
  • Children who are under the age of 17 may be asked to produce letters of consent from parents.

 Unaccompanied Minor Fees

Charges of an unaccompanied minor vary from $35 to $150. The precise amount may depend on the airline that the child will take, the age of the child as well as if the flight will involve connections. If you have more than one minor child travelling together, some airlines may charge you a single fee while others may charge you per child.

What You Should Consider if Your Child is Traveling alone

You should not wait until you are at the airport to notify the airline that you have a child traveling solo. Instead you should notify the airline via customer service over the phone.  Try by all means to buy a non-stop ticket for your child so that you minimise mistakes. In case of a flight delay, you should leave some instructions that should be followed. Also make sure you leave some information in case of an emergency. The emergency information should include contact details, overnight accommodation payment arrangements, your child’s identification documents.  Make sure travel documents are kept in a safe place. Also do not give the child original identification documents, photocopy his or her birth certificate before you give it to them.