Unaccompanied Minors Flight Rules & Regulations

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At some point of life, you may need to send your child to another city by flights. When the children between the ages of 5 and 17 are sent to fly without any adults accompanying them, they are known as unaccompanied minors. Different airlines have varied policies when child is sent alone. Some even do not allow children to travel even if he or she attains the age of 12 years.

Can Unaccompanied Minors Fly?

Age Restrictions Unaccompanied-Minor Procedures?
Under 5 Can not travel alone Not available
5 to 7 Can travel alone on nonstop flights Yes
8 to 11 (8 to 14 on some airlines) Can usually travel alone on any flight* Yes
Domestic flights 12 to 17 (15 to 17 on some airlines) Can travel alone on any flight without restrictions* Only on request
International flights: 12 to 17 (15 through 17 on some airlines) Can travel alone on any flight, but many carriers require unaccompanied-minor procedures Required by many carriers

Unaccompanied minors are allowed to fly. Airlines charge $50-$150 per child when the minors are travelling alone. There are certain terms and conditions that need to be fulfilled before your minor can travel with airlines. Moreover flight carriers will not allow child between the ages of 5 and 11 years to change the connecting flights. Some airlines also don’t allow unaccompanied minors on international flights.

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After booking a ticket for minor in the flight, you need to fill out forms which will details child’s age and other relevant information. You also need to mention the name of the person who will be there to receive the child at the destination airport. The designated person who will have to pick up the child will need to produce a government issued identity card to get a gate pass to pick the minor from the destination airport.

What airlines fly unaccompanied minors?

 
Airlines Name Age Requirments
Air Canada 8 to 17 years
Alaska Airlines 5 to 12 years
Allegiant Airlines 15 years
American Airlines 5 to 7 years
British Airways 5 and 17 years
Delta Airlines 5 to 7 years
Hawaiian Airlines 5 to 11 years
Icelandair 5 to 11 years
JetBlue 5 to 14 years
Norwegian Air 5 to 11 years
Porter Airlines 8 to 12 years
Spirit Airlines 5 to 14 years
SouthWest Airlines 5 to 11
United Airlines 5 to 14
Virgin America 5 to 11 years
WestJet 8 to 11 years.
WOWAIR 5 to 11 years

There are numerous unaccompanied minor airlines in which your child can travel alone. Here is the list of the airlines which provides the service and we will have small details and unaccompanied minor reviews for various airlines.

Some of the major airlines which help to fly unaccompanied minors are:

Air Canada

Air Canada allows children between the ages of 8 to 17 years. The ticket of the airline will cost you $100 for every round trip though they provide this service only for nonstop flights.

Alaska Airlines

This airline allows unaccompanied minor between the ages of 5 and 12 years. For the children between the ages of 5 and 7 you can only book nonstop flights whereas children between the age of 8 and 12 years can use the connecting flights service. The nonstop flight ticket will cost $50 each whereas ticket of connecting flight will cost you $75 each way. Also the travel time of the unaccompanied minor should not be between 9pm at night to 5am in the morning. The child will also be eligible to receive a main cabin meal on the Alaska Airlines if the duration of the journey of the flight is more than 2 hours.

Allegiant Airlines

The airline does not accept unaccompanied minors who are under the age of 15 yrs. If the minor is 15 years of age, he must have to be accompanied by an adult who have the ticket reservation of the same flight.

American Airlines

The children between 5 to 7 years can travel in direct flights whereas 8 to 14 years can also take connecting flight with American Airlines. The airports from which children can take the connecting flight are Charlotte, Washington Reagan, Dallas Fort Worth, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia and Phoenix. Ticket of this airline for unaccompanied minor will cost $150 each way. You cannot book the tickets for minor if the connecting flight is from other carrier and also if the connecting flight is the last flight from the city.

British Airways

The children between 5 and 17 years can travel as unaccompanied minors. You have to book Openskies Solo Flyer service for the minors which can cost you $150 each way. This service is available on a flight which departs from the United States of America and France. Children below the age of 5 years cannot travel solo.

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines also have similar policies like other airlines mentioned above. The children between the ages of 5 and 7 years can travel on direct flights whereas between the ages of 8 and 14 years can travel on connecting flights with the condition that flight must not be between the time of 9pm and 5am. If the connecting flights is from Alaska or Hawaii Airport than you can also book the ticket between 9 pm and 5am.

The connecting flights should be of Delta Airlines, Air France and KLM. The unaccompanied minors on the board are provided with traceable wristbands, Sky zone lounge for kids along with Delta Personal Escort during their journey throughout the day.

The delta airlines unaccompanied minor ticket will cost you $150 each way.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines consider children between the ages of 5 and 11 years as minors. If the travel is within the Hawaii the ticket will cost $35 and if the travel journey includes itinerary between North America and Hawaii the ticket price will go up to $100. The ticket fees include 2 siblings from the same family. The airlines don’t allow unaccompanied minors to travel on international flights. Reservations of the ticket can be done online and the fees can be paid during check in at the airport. The seat for the minor will be assigned by the agent at the airport on the travel day.

The unaccompanied minors are not allowed to travel on connecting flights which have the timings between 9pm and 5 am unless the flight is scheduled to depart from the Honolulu Airport. Travel is also not allowed if the gap between the connecting flights is of more than 2 hours.

Icelandair

The airlines allow children between the ages of 5 and 11 years as unaccompanied minors. The ticket will cost $60 which includes fees for the 2 or more siblings travelling in the same flight. You can only book direct or nonstop flights for the minors with this airline.

JetBlue

Jetblue considers children between the ages of 5 and 14 years as minors. The airlines allows child of 2 years to travel with a 14 year old child who has not been assigned the status of unaccompanied minor. They allow maximum of 3 unaccompanied minors in their flight who get seated in Row A, B and C of the flight so make sure to book your ticket in advance so that your child can fly with the JetBlue Airline. In this Airline travel is permitted only in direct flights. The ticket will cost $100 per unaccompanied minor.

You can book the tickets by calling at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583).

Norwegian Air

Unaccompanied minors service for children between the ages of 5 and 11 years is compulsory whereas children between ages 12 and 15, the service is optional. The children below 5 years of age are not permitted to travel alone with this airline. The ticket will cost you $59 each which can be booked by calling at Norwegian Contact Centre 1-1800-357-4159.

Porter Airlines

They provide the service to unaccompanied minors of the ages between 8 and 12 years. For minors between 12 years to 17tears the service is optional. The ticket of this airline will cost you $100 in each direction. The parents have to wait at the airport until it has been more than 20 minutes after the flight has departed from the terminal. The tickets for the minors can be booked by calling at 1-888-619-8622.

Spirit Airlines

They provide unaccompanied minor service to 5 to 14 years old and children under the age of 5 years cannot travel with the airline. Ticket cost is $100 which can be booked online by the guardian of the minor. The minors on this airline cannot travel in international flights and they have to travel only in direct flights and nonstop flights

SouthWest Airlines

They consider children of ages 5 to 11 years as a minor. Ticket cost to one direction for the minor is $50. Tickets can be booked for direct and nonstop flights only in which there is no need to change any plane on the stoppages. Tickets can be booked for the unaccompanied minor for the Southwest Airlines by calling at 1-800-435-9792 and enter the birth date of your child. If for some reason the child is unable to travel in the flight ticket cost is not refundable.

United Airlines

United Rules For Unaccompanied Minors

They provide the unaccompanied minor service for children between the ages of 5 and 14. The ticket of this airline for your minor will cost you $150 each way which can be booked for only direct or nonstop flights. The service is available on united and united express flights.

Virgin America

Children between the ages of 5 and 11 years can travel as unaccompanied minors with the airlines. Flights reaching their destination within 2 hrs or less, the ticket cost is $75, Flights taking more than 2 hrs will cost $100 whereas on international flights cost of the ticket goes up to $125 and all flights should be non stop. You can book tickets for your minors who are going to travel in this airline by calling at their reservation centre at 1-877-FLY-VIRGIN.

WestJet

The service is available for children of ages 8 to 11 years. For the children between 12 and 17 years of age, the service is optional. You can book only for nonstop flights and the ticket costs $100. The reservation for your unaccompanied minor can be made by calling at 888-937-8538.

WOWAIR

The children between 5 to 11 years can be booked as unaccompanied minors in this airlines. Service is optional for minors between the ages of 12 and 17. Ticket cost $89.99 which includes fees for two or more siblings. The booking can be made only on nonstop flights.

TSA ID requirements for unaccompanied minors

Transportation Security Administration is a government agency that regulates and secures national transport system. Children who are of less than 18 ages does not require any id to show in the domestic flights, but before the travel make sure with your carrier airlines if they need ID for the child. If the child is travelling with any other person who is not the parent of the child than you should fill out a Child Travel Consent Form.

Airlines Rules for Unaccompanied Minors

There are different rules for each and every airlines and depends upon the flight carrier which you have booked. Some of the common rules that are followed by each and every Airline are:

1) The children under the age of 5 years cannot travel as unaccompanied minors.

2) The flight departing between 9.00 pm in the night and 5.00 am in the morning which are also known as red eye flights cannot be booked for your minors.

3) The flight should be only direct flights which mean the children don’t have to change the flight whenever there is halt at some airport in between the source and destination airport.

Travel Requirements for unaccompanied minors

Main travel requirements of unaccompanied minors are:

1) When you are going to send your child in a flight, you need to accompany your child to the airport and be sure to reach airport at least one or two hour prior to flight departure. You will need to fill out a form for unaccompanied minors and then clear security. After that you need to get your child to the gate for pre-boarding.

2) You also need to bring the address and phone numbers of the person receiving your child at the destination airport so that airlines can contact them.

3) The airlines might give special badge to wear to child which your child must not remove unless he has been handed over to the designated person at the de-boarding airport.

4) You also need to carry a birth certificate of your child in case the need arises as airlines need to verify the age of your child. If you have booked return flights for your minor than the copy of birth certificate needed to be sent to the person who will bring back your child for the return flight.

5) Your child could carry a small bag in which there are interactive toys, coloring books, crayons etc. If he carries a personal stereo, try to give him earphones along with them. There should be a copy of the complete journey, route maps, airlines name, flight numbers, arrival and departure time in your child’s bag. Also write the phone numbers of your closed ones and your family in case a child may need these numbers if he wants to connect with someone. You can also pack some light snacks for your child as sometimes it may take time for the flight to depart.

Checklist for Person at Unaccompanied Minor Destination

When you are picking up unaccompanied minors at the airport, here are some of the things which you need to take care of:

  • The Person should be available on the phone every time.
  • You should know at which airport the flight will land if the city where flight is going to land have more airports.
  • If you think you can send someone else in your place, don’t send because airline will release the child to the person mentioned in unaccompanied minor form.
  • You need to bring a government issued ID card at the airport.
  • You have also to bring the copy of child’s journey which includes flight numbers, arrivals, departures, etc.
  • Try to get to the airport early as sometimes flight can arrive earlier than the scheduled time.
  • You must call the guardian of the unaccompanied minor when the child is received by the person.

Concluding this, we can say that make sure that your unaccompanied minor does not feel insecure during the journey. You should be in touch with the airlines and can track the flight status during the course of the run of the flight. Please note that your child must have enough cash before boarding the flight as it may be required during the journey.

Have a happy and safe journey for your unaccompanied minors.

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