CHILDREN TRAVELING ALONE ON A COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE
(504) 483-0607 or (504) 482-7617
The following information is generalized
information which fits most airline company policies and is only to
be used as a guideline for what to expect. When you purchase the airline
ticket for a child traveling alone, ask the ticket agent regarding the following:
1) The term of "unaccompanied minor" applies to children 5 to 12 years old and are eligible for
assistance by the airline staff for a small fee. This assistance is not always mandatory.
2) Children 5 to 7 years of age may fly unaccompanied if they fly non-stop to their destination.
3) Children 8 through 11 years of age may fly unaccompanied and make a connection to another airline.
4) Young children 12 through 17 years of age can also request assistance, for the same small fee, if requested in advance.
5) Does the above apply to international as well as domestic flights? Yes! Check with the airline of choice regarding international documentation.
6) What does it cost for a child to travel unaccompanied? They must pay full adult fares. Usually, there is no charge for non-stop flights but the fee to assist with connecting flights ranges from $20.00 to $40.00 according to the different airline policies.
7) You should make sure the following information is included in the reservation when the ticket is purchased:
a) The name of the person responsible for bringing the child to the airport, including the home
and business address and telephone number.
b) The name of the person who will be responsible for meeting the child at the final destination, including the home and business address and telephone number.
c) The airline may require a picture I.D. of the person picking up the child.
8) You should be sure to have the child at the airport one hour in advance for domestic flights and two hours for international flights.
9) When you get to the airport you will be greeted by a special customer service representative. You cannot go on board! Of course, you should be very positive in saying goodbye and assuring them of how much fun they will have. It would be best to control your tears and own anxiety for the sake of the child. The child will be carried aboard by a qualified assistant who will introduce them to the flight attendants and be sure they are in their proper seat. Although he/she has been placed safely aboard the plane, don't leave yet. There may be some reason that the flight has been delayed and this will create some anxious moments for your child.
10) What if you have a child who is on special medication which needs to be taken before reaching their final destination? The flight attendants cannot administer medications. If the child is not old enough to do so on his/her own, then the travel may need to be postponed until a later date. Check with your physician.
11) Most airlines have special accommodations for children for connecting flights. They will be monitored in special areas, given snacks and emotional support.
12) Last but not least ... talk with your child about being cautious regarding strangers. It will be difficult to make him/her understand the difference between following the "good" strangers and when to be leery of the "bad" strangers. The airlines make every effort to assure the safety of the children but consider the loving mothers and fathers who have had children snatched from them when they looked away for only a few seconds.
DECLARATION: The information contained on this or any other page of the web site, Atlas Tour and Travel, is based on research of other sources, personal opinion and feedback from travelers. Although every effort has been made to be as error-free as possible, the information is not to be considered as being 100% accurate since facts can change and there must be an allowance for human error.
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