In some situations, circumstances require that children fly alone. When a child flies without a legal guardian, they are commonly referred to as "unaccompanied minors. As such, they require special supervision, including support from an adult. Each airline has its own rules for unaccompanied minors, including age requirements, cost, flight restrictions, and certain amenities. Therefore, it is critical to familiarize yourself with the rules of the airline you plan to choose before you fly.
Before the flight:
- Contact the airline in advance to verify everything you need and to get guidelines for children traveling alone.
- As a rule, anyone under the age of 17 flying internationally must have a signed letter of permission from a parent or guardian (and the requirement for this letter may vary from airline to airline). Be sure to check with the airline on this.
- Parents should provide information on who will be picking up the child at each airport. Usually, children are accompanied by flight attendants or other airline employees and handed over to a designated person at the child's destination.
At the airport:
- Arrive early. Unaccompanied minors typically board the plane early, so airlines recommend allowing plenty of time for check-in, information about expectations, flight safety, etc.
- Although it's their job, make sure airline employees know your child is traveling alone. Make sure he or she will be seated on the plane and that flight attendants will be able to sufficiently deal with your child during the flight. Typically, the front or back of the cabin is ideal.
- If possible, have your child contact you immediately after landing and then again when he or she meets the person waiting for him or her at their destination.
We hope your child has an amazing experience!